Stories that warm the heart leave you feeling better about yourself, your life and your faith. These are the stories where the outcome, rather than the story itself, transports you to a better place. A story that merely paints a picture of sunshine, flowers and fluffy bunnies from page one to the end is unlikely to keep your attention much beyond the first chapter.
Even when a story ends with sunshine, flowers and fluffy bunnies, you want to feel that that you’re in a better place than where you started. Otherwise, what was the story about? You haven’t gone anywhere. Many stories – especially when told in film do begin in the land of sunshine, flowers and fluffy bunnies, or at least the real life equivalent.
Then Something Happens...
Stories usually open with a picture of normal life. Perhaps a content family going about its normal, hum drum daily business, or a cop setting out on yet another routine enquiry, or a young man or woman with their whole life before them. Then something happens. In script or novel writing this is called ‘the inciting incident’. It’s the event that kicks off the story and wrecks – or potentially wrecks, the picture painted in the opening scenes and pages.
The inciting incident might be a sudden death or financial disaster that threatens the family's integrity. It might be the discovery of a crime that directly impacts the personal life of the cop, or the revelation that everything in a young life isn’t what it seems. And so the story begins. The family, cop or young person is pitched into a battle to save what they have, or regain what was lost, with the odds heavily stacked against.
...But Things Have Changed...
Their struggle may be heartrending to us the readers and viewers, but at the same time it is heartwarming. Warming, because skilled authors and writers have created characters who are just like us: ordinary people, but battling against extraordinary circumstances. And if the fictional characters can do it, then surely we can too, can’t we? And we stay with the story to see if we’re right or wrong.
If we’re right, the broken family is rebuilt, the threatened cop vindicated and the disillusioned youth restored. But things have changed. Life at the end of the story is not the same as at the beginning. In some subtle way it is better; more full, complete and more satisfying. It’s this realisation that we can, through adversity emerge as better people that sows the seeds of faith for we ourselves to try and to triumph.
...And Life Is Not The Same.
Christian faith based novels and movies excel in themes of heartwarming story with outcomes that sow seeds of faith. Faith Like Potatoes leads you through the trials of a family who, having lost everything, defy everyone to grow a new life in another country. The romantic suspense fiction of Lynette Eason gives you Women Of Justice who risk life and love in search of the truth that will salve their hearts as well as solve the crimes. The new and life affirming movie October Baby will show you a life, derailed by news that no-one could have guessed, redirected by love, faith and forgiveness.
When you’re open to the story – whether in books or movies, inspired fiction is the most heart warming way to plant seeds of faith in your own or another’s life. Nurture that faith, and you’re on your way to telling the best heart warming story of all: your own. – Les Ellison
October 19th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Les Ellison