Turning Towards the Back Story

It’s Friday! This week I’ve made a concentrated effort to blog on M/W/F and today I’m celebrating my success by joining my favorite online community, the Five Minute Friday bloggers.  Every Friday this group of brave writers, sit down and write for five minutes on one word prompt.  These posts free-write which means for one day a week we write just for the love of the written word– no over-thinking or worrying about grammar or punctuation.  There are no rules, simply to write authentically and then encourage the writer who posted before you on the link up.

Today’s prompt is on the word: Turn.

I hope you like my take on it.

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Turning Towards the Back story.

I’m reading a book with my twelve year old son called, “The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell” written by Chris Colfer.  It’s right up my alley because I love all things fairy tales and magical. “The Land of Stories” is about twins who find out that in the Land of Stories the fairy tales characters are real, with real lives, back stories, and problems, because we’re cut from the same cloth my son and I are having amazing conversations about the characters in the book.  One conversation we had this morning was reflecting on when Snow White visits the Evil Queen (Snow White’s evil stepmother) in the prison after she’s been apprehended and sentenced for trying to kill Snow White.  The Evil Queen, aged and humiliated, reveals a truth about villains that completely turns my desire to hate them on its head:

“Your sorry will forever be romanticized. No on will ever thing twice about mine. I will continue to be degraded into nothing but a grotesque villain until the end of time.  But whet the world fails to realize is that a villain is just a victim whose story hasn’t been told.”

A villain is just a victim.

Wow.  How often do I look at someone who has disagreed with me, offended me, or simply annoyed me so much that I can’t stand to be around them and part of me vilifies them.  I feel justified in my anger and righteousness in mu judgement. In those moments I create stories about them.  Stories that say, “they are bad and they have always been bad and they will always be bad” or stories that say, “Their no hope for them,” or stories that place me as the primary victim and never once think about how they may also be a victim too.

In my family we have this practice called, “Creating a Back Story.” When someone hurts us, we try to create an elaborate story as to why they may have hurt us.  Even if we’re completely off base from the actual reason someone bumped up against us, the practice of thinking of someone in a position of vulnerability turns our disgust into grace, turns our anger into compassion, turns our judgments into hope, turns my selfishness into sacrificial love.

These stories can be as simple as,
“Oh my goodness!  They must have honked at me and sped off because they got a phone call that their dog got out of the gate and got hit by a car so they’re rushing home to help little Fido. I’d rush home too and maybe pay less attention to other drivers if it meant saving my pet’s life.”

To as complex as,:
“Oh,maybe there’s a reason that Christian believes differently about gay marriage or death with dignity than I.  Maybe they’ve had a loved one come out or die painfully from a terminal disease.  Wow it must be so hard to watch someone you love suffer and struggle and feel so powerless.  How would I feel in that situation?”

I practice creating a back story because it keeps me humble and as the Bible says, “God opposes the proud, but give grace to the humble.”

There’s Shalom (healing, wholeness, grace)  in the Back Story,

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Wanna join us?  Click the button and give us your best five minutes on “Turn”.

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4 thoughts on “Turning Towards the Back Story

  1. I love the idea of looking at the back story. It is true that if/when we know more from the back story we can at least understand the why’s of the current story. Thanks for sharing. (visiting from Five Min Friday )

  2. I think you provide a great point, and I love that as a family, you seek to give grace rather than judgement.
    However, I disagree that a villain is a victim whose story hasn’t been told. First, there are plenty of people who have been victimized who don’t become villains. That’s a poor excuse to become a villain. Second, there are some people who are just plain mean! I’m not saying don’t give grace, but some people are villains because they find pleasure in it (not too many, but there are some!)
    I love your thoughts, though!

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