It is the day after. The anticipation that had been building for several weeks has morphed into the beginning of a new chapter. Whatever we imagined would happen is now a reality in our experience. We have reference points. We have conversations. We think we know.
I am struck by how different our stories are. We tell each other about events where we were both present and two distinctly different narratives emerge. I do not think it is intentional. Both parties are being candid. Each is sharing what s/he heard and experienced. What is clear is that our starting points were very different. We heard in context; however there is nothing that links our contexts together.
I find myself questioning my story. Did I hear what I think I heard? Did I experience that I think I experienced? I know the answer to both, but the question that lingers is this; why is my story different?
I already know that there are several pieces to the answer. Two at the beginning include the following. What was I looking for? What did I expect?
As I see my experience in a different light, I find myself asking others about their story. What was their beginning? How does the experience fit into the ongoing narrative? Is there a context to the story and what s/he thinks happened?
As I listen, I can see the perspectives emerge. In context, the stories build on each other. While the single story is complex and messy, I find that it is a reflection of the world we live in. I step back, curious about the larger story that I find myself in. Am I missing part of the narrative? The answer lies back in the beginning.
One writer left a two-part comment in a prayer. “God answer you on the day you crash, the name God-of-Jacob put you out of harm’s reach.” (Psalm 20.1) I have wondered about context and perspective. Then and now, there is a story waiting to be told and heard. Starting points are also introductions to more.