The raindrops clinging to the plants and trees after a night rain triggered my awareness of an unrelated fact. One of life’s unexpected gifts is the story that each carries within. Frequently it goes untold and unknown to others in the larger family. For many, it is like an extended California summer with no rain. Not having it (rain or story) seems normal. After a time, one does not even think to ask about it. When it finally comes, one realizes that one has been waiting, sometimes secretly longing, to experience the gift.
Storytellers and the stories they carry are precious members of our communities. We need to hear what they have to say. When they do it well, it is as if they disappear, lost in the mist behind our imagination and wonder. Their gift to us is an excerpt of the journey of a fellow traveler. The time we invest in listening deeply is never wasted. I always find myself richer for the experience. Things that went well come with hope. Disasters can be funny, sad, and educational. The process of how relationships played out informs, inspires, and at times simply gifts me with sadness, love, empathy, and new emotions that do not yet have a name. Every story is a unique and priceless gift.
Firsthand storytellers bring something unique. I am not quite sure how to describe it but any description would include words like passion, conviction, and a sense of a life have been touched. When I hear the words coming out first hand, “we saw it, saw it all, everything he did in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem where they killed him, hung him from a cross.” (Acts 10.39) I know that he or she has experienced a story first hand that was and life changing.
As the sun creeping over the horizon slowly attacks the raindrops, I think back on God’s story and my own. I love the points where they overlap. Some of life’s greatest moments are found there. Today’s story can be more. We decide.