There’s something I’ve noticed when I get together with old friends to talk about days gone by: we remember the same events differently. By Mark Giacobbe Sometimes these differences involve discrepancies that beg to be resolved. But usually they involve different perspectives; different angles on the same event, with each person contributing a part of the whole that none of us possesses alone. We see in part, and we need one another to fill out our picture of the world. I believe this is why there are four Gospels. Through the multiple perspectives of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, God has given us four views—four portraits—of Jesus and his work in the world. Each author has a distinctive voice that tells the story of a multi-dimensional Jesus.
One clue that a fictional character has become truly influential in a culture is when that character is known by people who have never read the novels or seen the films in which that character first appeared. Many people know who Sherlock Holmes is even if they have never read a word of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories about him. By Joseph Bentz The fame of Mickey Mouse goes far beyond any particular cartoon in which he has appeared. People know of Harry Potter and Darth Vader even though they may have never read the Harry Potter books or watched the Star Wars films. Some characters, like Santa Claus or Barbie, did not even originate in a particular text but still have cultural influence worldwide.
As a kid, one of my favourite books was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I’d giggle and groan as my mum read to me every awful thing a boy named Alexander experiences in a single day. By Hannah DeMarco First, Alex’s breakfast cereal is missing a prize. Then he doesn’t get the seat he wants in the car, his mum forgets to pack dessert in his lunch bag, his dentist finds a cavity, an elevator closes on his foot, and he gets pushed into a mud puddle. Throughout this harrowing day, Alexander repeatedly exclaims, “I think I’ll move to Australia!” In the end, his mum reassures him that everyone has bad days—even Australians. Alexander learns a valuable lesson: it’s OK to have bad days.