Friday, December 16, 2011

Our Stories

"No one likes to be preached at or yelled at, but everyone likes a good story. We want to see what life is like in someone else's shoes." 

The lead singer of "Future of Forestry" said that last night as he was introducing his song "The Earth Stood Still." It got me thinking.

It's so true. For me anyway. I long to know what other people's lives are like. When I was a kid I remember asking my neighbor what high school was like, when my friends started dating I remember being so interested in what that was like . . . and marriage, and babies, and every other stage of life. I wanted to know what it was like in their shoes.

Most likely my motivation back then was to be prepared for my next stage in life. But as I've gotten older, it isn't so much about me being "ready for it," but just sharing in and enjoying the diversity of our lives.

Stories also lend themselves to great learning opportunities. What better way to learn about history than to talk to someone older than you, someone who has experienced it? Stories let us share our beliefs, ideas, and experiences without "preaching" or being taken offensively. Stories allow someone to enter in to your life like nothing else.

I think that's why blogs are so popular. We enjoy seeing other people's lives, hearing their story--even if it is from a distance. That is one of the reasons I read other people's blogs and why I check their Facebook status. Sure, these are ways to keep in touch, but more often than not, I'm only reading their story, not sharing mine. (Yes, I suppose that makes me somewhat of a stalker).

What other ways do we get to hear people's stories? Biographies, documentaries, even "based on true story" movies could count. Stories can move us to change, they can move us to compassion, they can move us to action. Stories are powerful.

Isn't that how Jesus taught his disciples? Through stories. Isn't that how we first learned about the birth of Christ?
What about faith-based testimonies? Isn't that one of the greatest stories we can share? How the Son of God entered our lives and left us forever changed.

Isn't that how we are meant to minister to our neighbors, friends, and families? By living out and sharing our story?

I'm reminded this Christmas season, that the story of the Christ child's birth is real. And it changed my life. My sharing of that story can change someone else's life too. Stories are powerful.

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