Why Storytelling Brings Empathy: Humans are Storytellers and Storytellers are Healers

It was in watching the beauty of conversation in sign language that I realized that language is first and foremost a vehicle for story. It was a Sunday afternoon and the sun was setting in Roseville, California, when I walked into a packed and yet silent Starbucks. It was eerie to hear the rustle of clothing with no voices until I realized I had walked into a sign language meeting. The whole cafe was filled with a flurry of expressions and soundless circling and cupping of hands and motioning of fingers pointed and relaxed with intention and precision. I experienced a moment outside of myself right then and there as I entered a parallel universe of storytelling. It was unlike any other language experience I had ever had. It was magic: an intimately familiar and yet an undeniably foreign experience of myself and others as a human storytellers.

The best teachers are our stories. This is why the storytelling of the Christian faith speaks deep into our hearts with lessons we can learn with each passing generation. Because not only are we storytellers, we are interpreters of story. That’s why this blog is about promoting health and wellness through the gospel and story.

Most of the time the stories that we hear of serious mental illness are the stories that are so bad that they cannot be hidden. People kill themselves or wound or kill others. This blog will tell a different story. One of treatment and hope and moving on while staying with. May it touch you and inspire compassion and your life as a storyteller. May it resonate with the dark stories of families that have been hidden even from the therapist’s office. May it bring you hope.

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