As my girls settle in for a bit of their new “Beauty and the Beast” DVD, I am reminded again of the importance of story.  A French girl in a provincial town, not fitting in, finds opportunity to redefine her world and her future in an enchanted castle.  In today’s message I shared the story about how a young lady from Indiana has found her home all over the world reshaping people’s lives in her work for peace.  Several church folk commented at what a great example that story was for helping us to see how we too can imagine and emerge!
          We value stories, I think, because they invite us to do just that- imagine and emerge.  Saturday I spent a couple of hours riding with a new friend on new roads, and of course, we were swapping stories the whole way.  It was so refreshing because, while it was a new friend and new roads, the stories were old and familiar.  We shared common tails of trips to France, crazy climbs and how much cycling has meant in our lives.  The human trait of storytelling is powerful.  It weaves us together, and reminds us that we too have a story worth sharing.  We too have a message, an experience, even an insight that speaks to someone.  We just need the opportunity to share it!
          Parker Palmer says that “storytelling has always been at the heart of being human, because it serves some of our most basic needs,” such things as “engendering hope.”  (A Hidden Wholeness)  Storytelling brings the opportunity to define ourselves beyond the framework of name, rank or serial number and creates a common space between us, inviting others to join us in that space, to share the meaning of our lives together.
          Who do you share your story with? 
          How does your story engender hope in others?
          If you’re riding to hard and fast in life to stop and share your story, then you’re riding without purpose.  Stop, catch your breath and find someone to share the journey, strengthen your sense of connectedness and reach out to engender hope.  Your story will do that.

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One Comment on “Stories”

  1. Katie Condra Says:

    Thanks for sharing, Stephen. As a student of literature, I spend a lot of time thinking about the power and significance of story. So much of our identity is wrapped up in story; story opens up transformative space. I could go on and on. Thanks for your lesson this morning, too. Our service today and the stories we shared together brought me closer to my brothers and sisters at FCC Lufkin. And I’m glad the girls are enjoying Beauty and the Beast. I could go on and on about how much I love that story.

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