Fantastic Journeys

Church newsletter article for 16th September 2011

Last week Joanne Harris, the author of ‘Chocolat’ (later made into a film starring Johnny Depp) amongst a number of other fantastic novels shared a short story on Twitter. Twitter is a popular social networking site on the internet where people can post short updates, pieces of news or comments using only 140 characters at a time, making writing a story for it a challenging exercise. Here’s her story told in 12 tweets (posts):

Once, a man set off to see a legendary mountain. He walked for days through all kinds of weather. (tweet)
He tracked a path through forests hitherto undiscovered and encountered creatures that no-one else had ever seen. (tweet)
He saw the sun set over the mountains, and watched shooting stars over distant snowfields. (tweet)
He breathed the scent of flowers that bloom only one day in fifty years. (tweet)
He felt his way along ledges of ice and climbed rock chimneys leading to vast plains of alpine flowers. (tweet)
He drank from streams and ate the wild strawberries that grew along his path. (tweet)
He heard the sound of migrating birds, and the nighttime chirring of silver-winged cicadas. (tweet)
He crossed a desert that no living man had ever crossed and survived before… (tweet)
He crossed rivers, walking on water lilies. (tweet)
Until finally, after untold time, he came to the foot of the mountain. But alas for the man, heavy cloud had fallen onto the mountain. The peak, even the nearest slopes, were completely obscured. (tweet)
And so he went home, disappointed. And when his friends asked him to tell them about his journey, the man said: “I saw NOTHING.” (tweet)

As I came to the final tweet I felt a similar shock to that often experienced when reading Jesus’ parables, and was again reminded what a master storyteller Jesus was. This also got me thinking, although this modern parable isn’t found in the Bible, does it have anything to say to us as we travel the journey of faith?

Joanne Harris’ story can be found on her twitter page.

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