So it strikes me that you may not picture yourself, or have any real desire to picture yourself, in the stories of Snow White or Sleeping Beauty. My girls love to, of course. At just about 5 and 8, they love to imagine themselves to be princesses; they dream of princes who will sweep them off of their feet; they fancy that if her majesty ever visits town, she’ll be at our house for tea (no joke!). You might not picture yourself in this way.
So what story do you see yourself in? Are you a hero? What about an anti-hero (you know, the kind Hollywood seems pleased to serve us these days, a person who does all kinds of unconscionable things but whom the audience cheers for because they’ve been made to relate empathetically to the person’s situation/plight)? Is your story a weekly sitcom, a Saturday serial, a daily soap, or a box office hit? If the latter, is it an action, a romance, a comedy, a drama, or an epic?
How has your story changed, fashioning itself differently because of new circumstances – you got married, you moved, you became a parent, you were in an accident, etc.? Finally, how does your story contribute to our story?
If you’re married, you know what I mean. There wasn’t just one protagonist in your story anymore, but two. And even though the two of you may have been headed toward different ends, you walk towards them together. Our story is the story of our faith community. It’s a story that generally begins with Adam, more specifically begins with Abraham, and is fulfilled in Jesus. It’s a story that can be approached from a number of directions: a story of overwhelming odds that humanity cannot overcome without great help from above; a story of humanity’s success, over time, through God’s inexplicable and at times imperceptible work in human hearts; a story of self-sacrifice; a story of self-realization. It’s an epic, and it’s big enough to hold all of our stories, our personal stories, together – to bind them together.
Geoff Moore is a musician whose music touched me at an important time in my life, and one song (in particular) sticks with me. You can listen to it in whole here, but these are a few lines from the chorus:
There’s a hand that sews the threads together around one strand of saving scarlet thread;
Come as you are: weary, worn and tattered. Come and take your place among the threads.
So take your place among the threads. What is your place? What is your story?