Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.
An online devotional for writers
The love of Christ is too great to understand fully. (Ephesians 3:19, NLT)
Your story, article, or post becomes memorable when takes a large topic and zeroes in on one unique angle of that topic.
The ancient Indian parable, “The Blind Men and the Elephant,” describes this process.
Five blind men are asked to explain a creature without the benefit of seeing the entire animal. Each man lays his hands on the elephant. The first latches onto the trunk and describes the animal as a snake. Another reaches up to grab an ear and declares, “An elephant is like an oversized fan!” Meanwhile, the man who leans against one of the elephant’s leg likens the animal to a tree trunk, while the fellow who stretches his arms against the elephant’s side defines the beast as a wall. “No,” says the fifth man, grasping the tusk. “An elephant is like a rope.”
None of the men sees the entire elephant. Nevertheless, each describes one facet of the elephant – one that he encountered personally and examined thoroughly.
God’s love is like the whole elephant. It’s too big to understand fully. Yet in spite of our partial sight, we are still able to grasp different elements of His love for us, like His presence in the doctor's waiting room and His provision for this month’s electric bill. We catch glimpses of His immensity and snippets of His grandeur and movement.
Your story topic is like the elephant – and like God’s love. It’s big and broad, with plenty of possibilities.
Your story angle is like one of the five men’s descriptions. And it’s like understanding one element of God’s love. The angle of a story is targeted and specialized. It zeroes in on just one component of the topic. And it recognizes that it’s just one part of the whole.
A story topic is broad. A story angle is narrow.
Thank you for your greatness and magnitude. I understand you only in part. Give me courage to respond to what I know about you, no matter how narrow my vision. Likewise, as I write, show me how to shed light on one angle of a bigger topic.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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