League of Extraordinary Storytellers

“Your story is the one that could set us all ablaze.”

(Dan Allender)

It’s impossible to separate our souls from our stories. God wrote out His plan for us long before we took our first breath, and the ensuing chapters unfold to shape and develop the fullness of who we are meant to become. This month we’ve seen the need to be gentle with the narrative of our lives, busting at the seams over the hilarity and spilling our sorrow together. Let’s wrap this story feast up with a divine dessert of sorts: sharing our lives well for the glory of God.

Even the most timid heart out there (hello, sweet friend!) has something to contribute at this table because, as Isak Dinesen so aptly put it, “to be a person is to have a story to tell.” We need you to belly up to this meal and bring whatever the good Lord gave you, no matter what it smells like. Blooming roses and sunny mornings? Awesome. Molding socks and substance abuse? Yep, you too. What you’ve experienced is worth sharing, worth hearing, worth glorifying God through.

Our stories only make sense in the context of community. As walking-around image bearers of the divine, we crave belonging. But because of the fall, our desire is marred, warped by fear and pride. I heard someone say recently that true community is the deepest longing and the greatest fear of every human heart. We lean into brave when we tell our stories, and nothing binds two hearts faster than the soft vulnerability of sharing pieces of our lives.

All it takes is courage. And courage begets courage, so ripples of feasting will spread to a famished culture in ways we can’t even fathom if we (I) can get over ourselves (myself) and whisper our hard, our sweet, our weird, our triumphant, our boring.

The flavors swirl while our hearts swell in this holy communion. Breaking bread over the broken Bread of life. Washing it down with a wellful of living Water. What’s more of an invitation to the Spirit than that, I’d like to know?

Our stories deserve to be told. They were handed to us for a reason (and I’m guessing that reason was not to collect dust and be the embarrassing part of our basements we try to hide). It might take years to haul them out, one by one, and wipe the cobwebs off. With a little sunshine and a lot of love, though, we can show off these masterpieces for what they really are—not basement junk but paintings by the Master Artist, redeemed and revealing His good work in us.

Goodness knows we didn’t write these stories, so why are we afraid of sharing them? We can neither boast nor despair in our narratives. We can simply steward them well, receive them with thanks, and share them with generosity.

We were intended to be a community of power, not through pretending to be what we’re not, but by celebrating what God has turned us into because of His great love. Singing His song about us, feasting into the night and practicing the stories we’ll tell for eternity. It’s a form of worship, friends, and it matters.

Believers used to be called “people of the book.” We’ve got words built into our DNA by the Word Himself. And the Word became flesh and walked among us, telling stories and eating His way through the gospels. You and I are created in His image, so let the story feasting begin!

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