Sometimes the most powerful truths are the simple ones. Sometimes I am captivated by a particular thought or idea that changes the way I see things.
For example, I spent the past week sailing the Caribbean seas on a cruise ship. I was a first-time cruiser (it was awesome!) and was taking the trip for some much-needed rest, as well as pursuing my writing dreams and connecting with likeminded people.
But of all the many aspects of such a wonderful trip, what really resonated with me were people and their stories. For example:
- Scott: a trial lawyer who became an interim pastor simply because he believed in his church and didn’t want to see it die. He never intended to pastor and didn’t feel qualified, but poured himself into it for four months. He changed the vision and direction of the church. They eventually found a pastor, and Scott returned to his day job and “normal life”. The church has tripled in size and is doing great.
- Lesa: a woman who has been through more pain than you could imagine. Physical, emotional, and relational abuse made up the early chapters of her story. But from the ashes, God has created beauty. And now she is sharing her story with the world to offer hope.
- Erica: she survived cancer. Three times. She has experienced the unspeakable heartbreak of losing her precious daughter and going through a failed adoption. And she’s not even thirty-five yet. But despite the painful paragraphs of her past, her smile is infectious and her spirit is strong. And she’s telling the world that, “God will allow us to be stretched beyond our human capabilities in order to show us our need for Him, to deepen our faith and show us that His strength is limitless!”
But it’s not just Scott, Lesa, and Erica that have a story. Everyone does. The guy checking your groceries has a story. So does the person taking your order at Burger King. The lady sitting beside you at church might be in a particularly difficult chapter of her life. The child in your Sunday School class might be penning the first words of their story.
Everyone has a story. And everyone longs for their story to be heard…to matter.
You can change someone’s day by listening to their story. And you can change someone’s life by becoming a part of it.
My friend Gail Hyatt shared the following video in the comments below. It fit so perfectly, I am adding it to the post:
Do you merely see nameless faces around you…or stories being written? You can comment here.