I am trying to introduce something new. On the surface, several others are working along the same line. I usually let the standard story line we share be my story. I know, at the center, we share a common foundation. I like to wait until I am pressed for more. Then, I talk about the greater parts of my story.
There is a balance that storytellers find. They seek the line between facts and details so your imagination runs. When the story begins with core facts, there is little for the imagination. With the right mix of details, one discovers sunsets, beauty, and wonder all mixed up in wonderful images created by one’s mind. It is a glorious find that takes one places one never thought possible.
It each situation, there is an advantage when the listener is able to anchor themselves with a reference point. It is almost as if the point is the beginning of the possible. With this to build on, instead of challenging or being defensive, those in the conversation are able to journey through the story together.
I find myself looking for the point that we share. My perspective needs to be shared in context of theirs. Whatever insight I have, I cannot assume they have the same. I continue to find that although my story remains the same, everyone has her/his point to build on.
I am beginning to wonder how far I am willing to take this. Is there ever a story that stands solely on its own? So far I have not found one. Each story requires at least one element to build on. Even when it is obvious, it is presumptuous for me to assume that it is the same for others.
Mysteries need individuals to tell the story. When one writer reminded me that, “you veterans were in on the ground floor, and know the One who started all this; you newcomers have won a big victory over the Evil One,” (1 John 2.13a) I know it is an invitation to introduce a reference point.