I was midway through a six-week assignment as a fourth grade substitute teacher. I had asked the kids to write down a dream they had, something they thought I should know about them, so
at the end of the year I could give each the gift of a unique blessing.
Most wrote the kinds of things I expected: I want to be a famous dancer. I’m going to play professional baseball. But Emily [not her real name] wrote of a different kind of dream: I dreamed I saw my dead brother when he was grown up. And with those few
words, Emily had given me agift, instead: an invitation
into her heart.
In his book, To Be Told, Dr. Dan Allender encourages us to read and write our stories in order to better understand the story God is writing in and through our lives – and to reveal “his story, the Greatest Story.” But, he says, “Our stories are not our own. … We read and write our stories for the sake of others and for God’s glory.” Think about that: your story is not your own; it is for others, for God. God has written your story so that others will see and give him glory. He has trusted you with the story he’s writing.The question is, what will you do with it?
Throughout August we will be looking at how to Tell The Story – God’s story; it begins with telling your story, which begins with knowing your story. I hope you will invest time this month in reading and writing your story. We’ll have resources available to help with that, and I’d love to talk with you about it. But don’t let this opportunity pass, because someone you meet
this month needs the gift of your story.
While the rest of the class worked on a project, I knelt beside Emily
and thanked her for the precious gift she had given me. I asked
about her brother: a few years older than her, he had become sick
and died when she was a year old. Though she’d barely known him,
she thought often of him, and had recently had the dream she shared
Then I told Emily that I’d had a brother who died, too, and though
no one would ever feel the hurt the way she felt it, I and others had experienced similar losses and she never needed to walk alone in
In just a few words, Emily and I had shared our stories with each other.
We each had given and received the gift of story. We had each found a snapshot of grace. I got just a glimpse of the impact my story had on Emily a couple weeks later when her mom talked with me at Open House. Whether that will ever usher Emily into relationship with Jesus Christ is a question I’ll probably never be able to answer. But that’s okay. Now I just pray that God will continue writing himself into her story.
So who will you exchange stories with?
Pursuing grace, peace...and holiness