Across time, I have come to learn that all of life is a unified story, woven together by the threads of everyone’s individual stories. This patchwork of truths and lessons has much to teach me and much joy to give me-but the key is to train myself to discern the patterns of the fabric and interpret what they are saying.
To that end, I have learned that I must make less space for talking and assuming, and more space for listening and observing. I have learned that a keen eye for detail is an awesome gift, because the tiny stitches have an invaluable nature that enables the full cloth to retain its character.
I have been inspired in recent years to reclaim the stories of my own life. So often, I have felt that I do not have any interesting stories to tell-that nothing from my own wandering life could bring joy, laughter, epiphany, tears, insight or the grace of God to another. This stigma has been perpetuated by an instinctive habit of “getting on with things,” of looking to the future and assembling life into a series of tasks that keep me just busy enough not to notice the sacred amid the ordinary. Another curse has been my longing to assume someone else’s story, to live a life I was not intended to live.
The reclamation of my true stories seemed a bit mechanical and forced at the start, but I’ve been willing to endure the journey. I formerly sensed there is much I have forgotten, much that was absorbed by the sponge of my sub-conscience and filed away in a distant drawer. I also sensed that there was much around me right at the moment, and I learned to start noticing lest I miss even more.
I have learned to be more alert for the stories of human nature and God’s nature that are screaming out to me from the theater stage, the film screen, the car stereo, the art museum, the person on the street, and the spouse and child right here in my living room. I have caught a tasty glimpse of the joyous fullness available amid a life that is vividly embracing and discovering the stories of the created-inescapably, as a result, pointing me back to the enduring story of the Creator.