Saturday, September 18, 2010

Telling the story

One of the books that I am in the middle of reading for a class is called "The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our place in the Biblical Story."  It's just fabulous.  The authors present the entire Grand Narrative of Scripture in such a way as to encourage you to place yourself within that story.

They posit that each of us can only have one grand narrative.  We either choose to live according to the story told by our culture, or we choose to live our story according to the one surrounding Scripture.  The story that God began with Creation and will end with the Return of the King. 

As I read the book, I couldn't stop thinking about how we tell our stories.  I come from a family of story tellers ... on both sides!  Telling our family stories has always been a big part of coming together for us.  Last weekend at my Uncle Ralph's funeral, Carol and I were given more pieces to the story as we met people that had known our parents before we were even born. 

As children growing up, we begged Mom and Dad to tell and retell different stories from our childhood and to tell stories from their childhoods.  Our grandparents had stories to tell us.  I would sit for hours with Grandma Greenwood playing Rook or Milles Bornes as she told me stories about her life and about my life, about my dad's life and about my aunts and uncles as children.  The stories created structure and perspective around my own life.

When I was in Kindergarten, one of my Sunday School teachers, Eulalie Bryant would seat us around her in a semi-circle.  She was a grandmotherly type and when we gathered at her feet, she wove amazing stories and tales, drawing us into the story.  Little did I know that I was getting my first introduction to the stories of the Old Testament and the stories of Jesus. All I really knew at the time was that I was entranced.  I actually remember finding one of her stories in the Bible one day and having the entire Old Testament come to life because everything flowed into position as I realized that she had been reinforcing the Biblical story for each of us children.

The authors of The Drama of Scripture point out that relationships are built on connecting our stories.  As friends come together, they tell each other their stories until they are able to make connections.  Once those are established, the relationship builds and then continues to grow as their stories remain connected.

One of my uncle's nieces (other side of the family) had a connection to one of my high school girlfriends.  In that moment, our stories connected, we built a thread of a relationship.

How do you tell your stories?  Do you tell them to your friends, to your kids, to your family?  The story is so important ... it is our connection with the past, the present and the future. It is what makes our connections to each other work.  What is your story?

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