One of my favorite classes in college was titled “The Power of Images in Western Civilization.” Over the course of the semester, we looked at images from early cave paintings to religious icons to fascist propaganda. We talked about how our culture and history have been shaped by the stories that have been told through the images created during different periods. As an art history major, I fully believe in the power of a single photograph or painting to shape the way we see history. And, as someone who is trying to embrace my own stories, I believe that as we live intentionally, we create a lasting story.
In his first book, Framing Faith, Matt Knisely empowers the reader to tell their story. Knisely explores the busyness and connectedness we live in today. As positive as social media can be, are we stopping to focus on the story God is writing in our lives? Using the framework of photographic terminology, Knisely illustrates the importance of slowing down, of developing important “scenes” in our lives, and of noticing what God is creating in each experience.
Knisely’s approachable style made this book easy to read. He quickly engages with stories of his own as well as images from his career. As I try to notice my own story with more intention, I connected with his ideas that God created us to learn from and tell our stories.
I especially enjoyed his chapter on Darkness. He encourages the reader to find the truth in imperfection, that
“The moment we skip to the end of our stories, we fall captive to the stories of this world, we lose the uniqueness of our story, and in turn we lose the power of the gospel to be light in real darkness” (143).
He continues to remind the reader that imperfections, conflict, and failures are what make great, engaging stories. He encourages the reader to embrace those dark points in the story, knowing that lessons learned will create a deeper, more meaningful story.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. There were a few points when I felt that the analogy of photography was forced into what Knisely was trying to say, but overall I appreciated the framework. It’s a timely book, as more and more people are questioning the amount of time spent on social media and the depth of connections made without connecting in real life.
As storytelling is regaining importance in our society, how are you embracing and telling your story?
GIVEAWAY! I am giving away my copy of Framing Faith. To enter, leave a comment about an experience telling your own story. I’ll randomly select a winner on Friday, July 11, 2014. (US & Canadian addresses only.)