If you think about it, the Bible is a book of stories.
That’s really what it is. And, I’m not saying that to diminish the inspiration or power of the Bible, but to actually raise the power of stories in our lives. The Old Testament is full of the stories of Jewish people and their interaction with God. The Gospels are full of the stories of Jesus and His interaction with people. And, the Epistles are also stories of sorts – insights into the Early Church, and the stories that shaped them.
So, I raise all of this, because we so often discount our own stories.
We discount the lives we have lived, and the impact God has made in our lives. But, the truth is, our stories matter. They shape us, change others, and give tangible insight into the working of God in our lives.
When Paul shares his story in 2 Corinthians – that he has been battered and bruised, but not beaten – we resonate and can understand. When John shares about his interaction with Jesus in Revelation, we enter into his world and are changed. When we read Acts – literally the story of the Early Church – we are shaped, formed, and changed by it.
I write all this to remind you of one simple thing that we often discount and dismiss: Our stories have power. Our stories have meaning. Our stories are places not only to connect with ourselves and others, but also with God.
And, this is something I think the church understood a while ago, with the importance placed on “testimony” or “bearing witness.” And, it’s something we need to get back to. We need to share our stories.
Andrew Root, an amazing theologian, writes this:
“Stories are the tentacles of personhood that reach out to share and be shared in. We enter each other’s lives not through magical voodoo, but through the words of our stories, and entering into these stories binds us to one another. Story is the formative experience of relational personhood, and to share our story is to invite others to share in our being. When I share your story, I share in your person.”
So, share your story with others. Open up. Share around a table. Share over a cup of coffee. But, please share your story.
Because, it is in opening up and sharing that we become bound to one another.
And, I think that’s needed more than ever in our world. To be bound together, and bound to Christ. But, that only happens as we share our lives with one another. So, share your story, and see what happens.