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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Call for Stories

I Corinthians 1:27-28, "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  God chose the lowly things of the world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are" (NIV).

Not too long ago, I found myself face to face with someone who I would have considered a casual acquaintance.  She said, "I'm really enjoying your blog."  I did a double-take, because the truth is I sometimes forget that I write a blog, and I often forget that people read it.  True story.  At any rate, I sort of awkwardly offered thanks, smiled, and tried to think of something to either end or continue the conversation, because when it comes right down to it, I am so much better with people when I either know them well or have them as a captive audience. 

Then she went on.  She went on to tell me of her life struggles.  And because I am a listener, I listened.  I stood there, absorbing her pain, so very thankful that God has somehow seen fit to put me in this position, even though I often cannot figure out how I got here. 

Friends, my life is really funny.  I cannot even begin to tell you how many messages I receive in a week asking my advice on things like what devotional Bible an eleven year old should use, whether or not divorce is ethical in specific situations, how to contact local churches in various states in which I do not live, and what I think their baby's rash might be (pictures included).  I love every single message, because... somehow... these people think I might have reasonable answers!  And I love my people. 

I've come to learn some things...

First, people will come to you if they believe you are real.  I don't spill my story because I like doing it.  I spill my story, because it might help someone else to know they are not alone.

Second, I do not know everything.  I have not experienced everything.  And, quite frankly, even though I love new experiences, I don't particularly want to!  This is a huge part of why we have community.  The truth is, you can add something that I cannot. 

Over the past several months, I have occasionally asked someone specific to share a piece of their narrative.  Sometimes they say yes.  More often than not, they say no.  I think there are several reasons for this.  They include things like, "I don't write well," or, "People have judged me, before, when I share this," or, "I don't have time," or, "I don't want others to know my story," or, "I'm scared".  All of these (and more) are legitimate reasons to reject the offer to share.  I have honored, and will always continue to honor, the requests of others who do not wish to share their stories in a public forum.  However, if you're out there in cyberspace reading this post and you have a compelling story that you would be willing to contribute to this community; I would like to share my space with you.

I think we can overcome just about any of the reasons for staying silent, above.  I can edit your story to make it read well, if you want me to.  I can change names and places to protect your identity, if you choose.  We can work around anything, here.  Send me a message.

And... go...


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