Tuesday, July 12, 2011

stories of christie purifoy

When she read that post title, I wonder if my sister thought I might have decided to spill some family secrets or embarrassing moments. Like the time she...ok no, I'm not that sister. Not today.
Christie holds a PhD in English Literature and is a gifted writer. She recently began sharing her thoughts on a new blog. Every post seems to speak right to my heart, and she has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I don't think it's just because I've known her all my life and get to be auntie to her kids and have on occasion given timeouts to her third-born, or because we have a shared aversion to this Florida heat, or even because we have such similar tastes that the words "oh, me too!" often come up in our conversations and we unknowingly gave our brother the same wedding gift. No, she's just a good writer and I think you'll agree and find encouragement in her words. She tells stories, her stories, but they are never about her. She is able to see these chapters God is writing in her life and recount them in a way that grants us a clear glimpse of who He is and oh how He loves us. I could go on but I'm just the family photographer. Christie is the family writer and her recent post, Stories, says it so well...
 christie purifoy
It's been said that there are only half a dozen stories.  The claim is that writers only recycle and reimagine the basic plotlines that have existed for hundreds of years.
Obviously, six is an arbitrary number.  Still, I think it's important to remember that most stories do share a kind of creative DNA.  Whether that DNA is labeled "quest," "metamorphosis," or "forbidden love," every story is a combination of utterly unique detail and shared structure.
It seems that stories have been a part of God's plan for his creation from the beginning.  And I do mean the beginning: "And God said, 'Let there be light."  The first storyteller.  The first story.
He's been telling stories ever since.
I've found that I cannot comprehend my own life or the universe in which I live apart from stories.    There are the big stories: creation, fall, redemption.  There are stories within those stories, like the deliverance, wandering, and homecoming of the Hebrew people after slavery in Egypt.
And then there are the stories God is telling in every single human life.
Like those found in Scriptures, myths and novels, these human stories are beautifully unique in their details, but they too participate in the shared elements of story.  Creation.  Fall.  Redemption.  Romantic  Pursuit and Love.  Deliverance.  Wandering.  Homecoming.
I often wish I could smooth away all the complications in my life.  I pray for God's blessing and hope he keeps tragedy at bay.  But, I know that if my wishes always came true I would be left with a life that is no life at all.  With a life that tells no story.
Which do you prefer: the blank page of a comfortable existence?
Or, a work of art?

© Christie Purifoy, www.christiepurifoy.com, July 2011
christie purifoy

2 comments:

  1. Kelli, Christie has become my favorite writer, also. Like you, her writings seem to speak directly to me. They're the best. I'm so glad Christie has started sharing her thoughts and stories on her blog as it gives me more to enjoy in addition to what you and Lisa post. You three do keep me looking forward to your new entries. I'm so proud to be auntie to all of you. You have a wonderful way with words, too, in addition to your wonderful photography. Keep it up! Love you.

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