Let’s say I’m taking my first overseas adventure to the continent of Africa. I’m pretty nervous about it, but I’m thankful that my friend Vivian in Nigeria will be there to greet me at the airport. Before I take off, she reassures me that all airports are pretty much alike and that the one in St. Louis is similar to the one in city of Legos.
When Vivian mentioned the airport in St. Louis, my mind easily conjured up the gates, waiting areas, ticket counters, and baggage claims with which I am familiar. I transferred the information from my imagination and attributed it to place that I’ve never seen before. The analogy that Vivian used is not only a comfort, it helped me to bridge the gap in my knowledge and experience.
You too may try to begin your essays and narratives with familiar activities, objects, and events. Take your reader slowly into a new world or into the abstract through a concrete, common example.
Watch how this writer opens up her devotional essay:
Suppose you had unlimited access to every movie every made. How many hours of sleep would you forego in the first month?
Suppose your had unlimited access to every game app available for your cell phone.How many meals would you skip in the first two weeks?
Suppose you had unlimited access to every item in the women’s clothing department in your favorite store. How long before your closets and dresser would overflow?
Unlimited access. At first, it sounds like a dream come true, like heaven! But too much of a good thing is, well, not such a good thing. (Sadly, chocolate is no exception.)
Romans 5:2 assures us that through Jesus, by faith in him, we have unlimited access to a very, very good thing–the amazing grace of God. Better still, there’s no downside!
There’s no such thing as too much grace.
–“Unlimited Access,” Amazing Grace for a Woman’s Heart © 2016 CTA, Inc.
Did you note how the author started with movies, game apps, and clothing? These are concrete objects that are nearly universal in the 21st century. This is an effective way to begin the discussion on the size of God’s grace.
Start with the familiar and your reader will follow you to the ends of the earth.