I don’t like people to tell me what happened in a movie or book before I have my chance with the story. I don’t want their take coloring what the story might say to me, lift from me, work into me, strengthen me to do. I don’t need their take, I need the story.
We had a little girl, she is 22, but that is a little girl to me now, come and share her story of being bullied in school. She is obviously beautiful, eloquent, brilliant and in the race for Miss Alabama, now. Had someone else told me her story, I would have listened. It was interesting, almost unbelievable, worth the time to hear. But it wouldn’t have effected me the same.
She told us just a little of it; there was challenge, sacrifice, pain, suffering, redemption, calling, purpose, triumph and everything a good story should have. But the power of the story came in a moment, unscripted, of ethos and pathos, when she broke for millisecond, and it all rushed to the NOW, and we were in it with her, almost in her, living it, too. And something deep transpired. I watched some of the students make the shift, from listening to being with/in, listening through. And truth, core cutting truth, came into that room and worked some wholeness and some grief. I know that she didn’t tell it all, but she told enough to bring the NOW into the moment.
She told lots of interesting, challenging statistics; but her story, brought the real – the eternal real (God Himself) tangibly into the room.
Sometimes, when I get still enough, ready enough to listen, God will tell me some of His story, He will read it to me, adding all the helpful embellishments, just the way my Dada would the funny papers. He will tell me the unabridged, drop-down version and sometimes, His voice will break, too…and pull me in to Him, so “with” that I can barely discern myself…and I feel what He feels, see what He sees.
I so need story.