It was his turn to tell his testimony. Week by week, a couple of us at a time would give our story. And those nights keep some of my most cherished nuggets of relationship and community and all of it revolving around gospel.
The story of his life was enthralling and beautiful and tragic and it had led him to this grinding halt of my living room where we sat in a circle exchanging tales before heading to south America for a mission trip.
Inside of his testimony, however, was something that has irked me within Christianity.
“I hear the word History and I think it’s just His-Story. He brought me here.” And I can’t tell you how much that diminishes his thousand step walk alongside God. Evangelicals have this idea about God’s plan and calling and blueprint in which he is pulling us one puppet string at a time to wherever he wants us to go and it’s like this thing we say as a big band-aid on any and all problems. He ordained it. Knowing God as I do, I can’t accept that. Knowing God as I do, I know we journey together. I walk away. I walk back. We create together. I destroy, he builds anew. We are coheirs, he is my father, yes, but I also consider him my mother and my brother and my sister and my friend and I think when we widdle our stories down into these screen plays written by God, we are diminishing the real substance between us and the divine, all that love moving in the middle.
Stories matter. Between the barista in the morning to the gas station cashier at 9 PM, you’ll come across a thousand different stories, light and dark, hard and soft, and I can’t accept HIS-STORY with the dark and the hard ones, especially when they go on forever for some. We are co-creators, our story is interactional, it is not HIS-Story, it is ours, God has given us that. And it’s really quite beautiful-
So, one of my favorite things now is free-writing and that is what I have done with Lisa Jo Baker and friends tonight! The rules are… (quoting from her blog):
1. Write for 5 minutes flat on the prompt: “Story” with no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. 2. Link back here and invite others to join in. 3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..