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Unexpected Stories

I wrote a play last month on the widow and her son from Luke 7. For those who are unfamiliar with the Biblical account, while Jesus was entering Jerusalem, a funeral procession was exiting. Jesus stopped the procession and brought the son back to life.

The account only covers five short verses in Luke's Gospel, but it's an interesting aspect - this widow who has no one to support her anymore, receives her son. It's as though Christ stopped for a moment to say, I can help her now.

Lyon, France, 2015
There are so many little stories like this found both in the Bible and elsewhere in history. We capture a glimpse of something, like a light reflected on the water, but it isn't until we're able to step closer we see the interesting parts.

I enjoy history and culture - learning about how other places see themselves. Recently, I've started watching international films and television shows because they intrigue me. How does another culture see the world? What are the stories that inspire them?

As an American, I understand how my country views other places, but I've also spent much of my life near borders between regions or countries. In Southeastern Pennsylvania where I grew up, my border was the Mason-Dixon Line which some may or may not consider the dividing line between the North and the South. Now, in Western New York, I live within an hour's drive of Canada.

Living that close to the borders offers me a chance to see how others view the same story. For example, it's interesting to talk with the Canadians about the War of 1812 as opposed to the Americans. Canadians tend to remember the war whereas Americans wonder what all the fuss is about.

Those variations - those unexpected stories intrigue me. They are the little known stories of history, or the various views of the same story. I doubt if we can ever explore the many facets of our world in a lifetime, but through books, novels, and other forms of art, we can explore more than we individually are able.

If you're stuck on a story, or just wondering what to do next, take a chance and hunt for the unexpected. Mine your research for the weird and the unusual. You never know when that useless piece of information will actually turn out to be priceless.


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