I love stories. In every way I have been able to imagine, they are vehicles of our memories, hopes, and dreams. They carry the currents of our learning and change. While reading our stories is good, telling and hearing them is better. In both, our imaginations are given permission to wander, imagine, and most of all absorb.
As I look through some old pictures long misplaced and ignored, I am struck by the depth and breadth of stories they carry with them. From my early teenage years through the growing gray, I have been blessed with people in my life that have known how to live, laugh, and grow. One theme that is present in each story is the way I can see Divinity at work. To each person that had a role in being God’s voice, hand, and ear, thank-you. The stories that have left me with remind me of the following truths.
The best of life is always found in community. We were born with a thirst to be in relationship. At times, especially with things get difficult and painful, it can seem like the best answer may be found in going it alone. Time and time again, as the pictures remind me, Life leads me back into community.
Life changes because of our experiences. In remember the stories of our lives we are changed from the inside out. To ignore the stories in our life is to live without wisdom. By taking each in, good, bad, and otherwise, we are given an opportunity to become more than we were.
Forgetting is never the final answer. We are given opportunities to remember through pictures and stories. Each is a window and an invitation.
I look back realizing that we are part of a bigger story. I can see the truth, realizing that “the world’s a huge stockpile of God-wonders and God-thoughts. Nothing and no one comes close to you [God]! I start talking about you, telling what I know, and quickly run out of words. Neither numbers nor words account for you.” (Psalm 40.5)