In a galaxy far, far away…
Tell me a story, sister, so as to pass the waking parts of the night…
In the beginning…
All great stories introduce us to wonder. We are invited to adventure, mystery and distant lands. At the same time, all great stories also contain elements of the familiar: the faithful friend, the jealous retainer, the beautiful dreamer, the wicked step-parent, the hateful villain. Finally, the peasant becomes the princess; evil is defeated, and all live happily ever after.
God’s stories are no different: the bride will be rescued and taken to the kingdom. The peasant will become a princess and we will live happily ever after. The evil that lurks in the shadows and destroys all that is good and right in the world will be defeated. It will happen—because the story of God tells me that this is so.
Yet simply reading His stories is not enough. I must be bold enough to tell and to live in His stories. If I want to learn how to pray: I must place myself in the Garden of Getsemane. If I want to feel God’s love: I will put myself in Jesus’ arms and become as His child, receiving His blessing. If I want to experience His joy: I will stand next to Mary Magdelene was she cries “Rabboni!”
If I ever wonder whether or not God cares for us, we should place ourselves at the foot of the cross. If I am feeling as if I’ve failed Him: I will stand with Peter in the courtyard and then run to Jesus from the shore. If I’m angry about injustice: I will live in the story of the temple cleansing, understanding that God’s anger is for His own.
I will find myself in God’s story. I will see myself as a part of his great drama. I will live with wonder, adventure, and hope in the happily ever after.
The story is told of the ancient desert fathers that Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph complaining that his spiritual disciplines rought little satisfaction and less power. According to the tale, he said, “Abba, as far as I can, I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate, I live in peace and as far as I can I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?” Then the old man stood up and stretched his hands toward heaven; his fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him, "If you will, you can become all flame.”
As we extend our hearts to God and place ourselves in His story, let us become His flames: flames to encourage; flames to strengthen our flagging faith; flames to lighten another’s burden; flames to set the world on fire.
Let our stories join with His in extending light to a broken and dark and lonely world.
Light a fire today: tell God’s story.