Value of This Activity:
Helps us imagine possible back-stories to a non-narrative text. Or, helps us imagine a story in any era that might help “define” what the biblical text is dealing with.
Bible. Pen and Paper. A timer can be helpful.
To Begin . . .
Spend a moment in quiet prayer. If you wish, begin by freewriting for 3-5 minutes. Just let the pen empty out your concerns and thanksgiving for the day. Breathe.
How to Play . . .
- Read the 2 Corinthians 5:11-17. Copy out a sentence from the text that intrigues you. You do not need to describe or explain to yourself (or anyone else) why it intrigues you. Maybe it’s a turn-of-phrase that catches your ear. Maybe it’s a favorite verse, but you’ve never dwelled on it with your imagination before. Maybe you just have no idea what that sentence really means. Maybe it’s a completely random choice because you’re a bit tired and not wanting to think too hard. It doesn’t matter! Just pick a sentence you want to fiddle around with.
- If you have a timer, set it for 5-7 minutes. Re-write your selected sentence in as many different ways as you can think of (even “wrong” ways count!). See if you can come up with 5-10 different ways to re-write that sentence.
- The final step in this Playdate is for you to make up a mini-story that in some way relates to your selected sentence. Perhaps it “illustrates” the sentence. Perhaps it “explains” why someone might say that sentence. Perhaps it “argues with” the sentence. You do not need to include the sentence in your story — in fact, it may work best for you not to include the sentence. Your miniature story may take place during the time of the text (when it was written, for example). But it might also be a story that would take place this week, in your own world. Or, perhaps you will imagine a short futuristic story. Just imagine: What’s a story that this particular sentence might evoke? Give it a whirl! Write a good story, write an awful story, write a story that seems not to matter one way or the other. But write down a mini-story, inspired by the sentence you selected.
- If you wish, you can repeat this Playdate several times this week, selecting other sentences from the text. Or, you can multiply the stories you tell from this one sentence you’ve selected. Mini-stories and Many stories. Have fun with it! (You’re playing, right?)
In Closing . . .
Take a moment to breathe and let the playtime settle around you. Carry your curiosity and insights and questions into the day.
Playdate Reference Material:
Playdates with Scripture by Virginia Wiles is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at virginiawiles.com.