the beauty of storytelling

For awhile, I mulled over what to do while away in Africa. Wi-fi is possible - but not a guarantee. And honestly? I really don't want to worry about publishing posts and tweeting and updating statuses. I will write - but most of it will be my hand to a sheet of paper. Once I decided this, I knew I needed to ask some friends to take over my space for a little while. These are women I trust, admire, love and respect. I can't wait for you guys to meet. Today you will hear from Misty. I'm so anxious for you to read what she has for you today, mainly because I consider her one of the most refreshing writers I've come across recently. I love her way with words - and I love her belief in Story. Hope you enjoy!

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In college, I had a pastor who cried with every sermon. He cried during the Olympics, and he cried during  9/11. It wasn't just the magnitude of either event; it was the individual stories that emerged-those shining moments where an individual overcame the odds or who was heroically inclined that would undo him. He was appropriately a history major when he'd been in college; he lived for the stories that shape our lives, our culture.

I was an English major. I loved stories, too, but for different reasons. I loved those beaded strings of words, the seemingly arbitrary rules to keep them in line, and the pendant pictures made real with the art of sentence forming. I lived for reading the stories that shaped my soul.

Story, then, sounds a bit subjective, and I suppose it is to a degree. We are Story-beings, authored by one incredible Story-Creator. We are dusty forms with life breathed into us from the Word-who-was in the Beginning. We are souls molded to speak His voice, his testimony here on earth.

The beauty of being Storytellers is we get to be story-doers as well. We have a magical chance to infuse life into simple words: I am the Way; Follow Me; Love your neighbor. The other beauty is we don't have to write ourselves, or get caught up in the plot twists and devastating events that pepper our lives. We rest from the beginning in knowing our limitations. We are so, so imperfect-I'm in a season of truly knowing this brokenness and realizing just how feeble my own attempts to write order from chaos into my life. Yet, still, I'm His. His daughter, His captive set free. I'm a broken vessel, but I pour out Grace.

C.S. Lewis says we're like fish out of water: we were made to be infinite beings, but are now housed in temporal, sinful human bodies with a longing for eternity. I'm learning that my Story is how I live in my time-trapped body-how I love my little ones and how I love His people, how with voices raised in song and praise and love and service, we tell the greatest Story every told.

(For more about how God is working in my life and some of the specific issues I deal with, check out my own Story page. Thanks!)

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Thanks for sharing with us, Misty - especially the reminder that all of us are essentially storyDOERS and not just storyTELLERS. Beautiful. :)

Africa Prayer Requests:

- We've been in Kenya for four days! Thank you so much for continually praying. Today, pray for peace and clarity as we end the sports camp and prepare for the talent show tomorrow.

- The students are leading halftime again today, so pray for Christ to speak through them.

- Most importantly, pray for God to move within the students and leaders. Pray that we would begin to hear from Him like we've never heard from Him before, and that we would experience His love and mercy in a new and fresh way.

Posted on June 17, 2010 and filed under story.