Thursday, May 29, 2014

Stories: Made, Told, Written, Understood

Story-making begins with hunger.” Christie, you are right!

With Lily the lizard
This week is our annual Mana ~ Pop-pa Camp.

We are writing the next chapter of the story that began eight years ago when Jack was born. It will be recorded in special scrapbooks and take-home journals. Ashlyn is 6 1/2.

We hunger to know our GRANDS better. Who are they? What do they love? How can we pray well for them? 

New experiences, fun times, creating memories, hearing their stories, sharing ours, the family story is in the making.

Melinda and I ordered our lunches and settled in at the local café to get to know one another.

“Tell me your story.” 

She started, “I arrived here the day the fire broke out.” 
favorite place to meet friends

I interrupted … already, “You arrived on June 11?” 

Just one sentence into her story and I began understanding in the context of my story.

Story-telling begins with memory and creates connections. June 11, a significant day for both of us, was the context that filled the next hour. We wondered over the similarities we learned about each other.

Story-writing is for me … and for you. 

When I write, I process. I hear and I believe. My friend Carole said, “Don’t write unless you can’t not write.” It seems I can’t not write. As I journal, Echoes comes to life. 

God’s story-writing recorded in the Bible fuels my imagination. I listen to the then and I ponder my now. Is trust the same for me as it was for Samuel?  

I Samuel 12:19-24 summarizes Samuel’s farewell address. As I thought about how I might respond to each of his instructions, five everyday words stopped me in my tracks: “far be it from me” (verse 23).  How would I finish the sentence, “… far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by …”

God’s story-writing stopped me; I listened to Samuel’s words, and looked at my life.
How would you finish that sentence?

Story-understanding came in the midst of my own story. Five words hooked me that morning; my curiosity awakened and truth reclaimed. One of my answers (and there were several), "far be it from me" that I should sin against the LORD by taking our relationship for granted.

“When I listen, I listen not only to a story, but also with a story.”                                                                          A Spirituality of Caregiving, by Henri Nouwen

What are the stories that have captured your imagination and transformed your days?

“Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”                                                                                                                             John 20:30 and 31

PS ~ You may want to skip back here and read more about story.


  1. Beautiful thoughts and powerful questions! Thank you, Sue.

    1. Thank you Christie. I think one of your gifts must be encouragement.

  2. 1Samuel12:24. I have to concentrate on this"only fear the Lord and serve him faithfuly with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you". It is easy for me to concentrate on the "I need..." or "I don't have enough.." but Samuel reminds me to stay focused on the positive.

    1. Love it ... consider what GREAT things he has done for you. Good reminder Tania.