Without sorrow, the heart would never learn the meaning of joy. Without tears, our eyes would never see what we hold inside. Without darkness, we would have no reason to look to the light of heaven. ~An Irish Proverb“Each one of us has story—an adventure of life that plays out in the mind. It’s up to you to find that story in the people you meet. Now, get out there and meet them and get those stories!” My professor of journalism challenged us to fulfill an assignment, and he had sent us on a quest. Not long after that, I changed my major and took elementary education with a special interest in history.
I thought by doing so I would avoid having to dig out these individual, face-to-face stories from people. In history, you don’t have to actually know the people or talk to them face-to-face. And, I thought I could bury my own story in the process. I didn’t want to admit in class that day that while it was ok for me to know the big picture of people, it was not ok with me to hold the individual’s hand, praying with her,wiping the blood off with my other a hand, comforting, and hurting alongside her, because I already had a lifetime of my own hurts to bury deep.
The Complete Works of Josephus tells a story of a people, but it is through the eyes of one man and how he feels about it all. The Holy Bible tells many of the same stories, but it is told through many individuals, highly personal, full of angst and with one passionate purpose: to draw close to the God who created us. I’ve spent most of my life tucking away portions of my own quest while trying to be as close to God as possible. It’s been a delicate dance of life, coming intimately close to Him, but when things got too intense; I’d stuff those feelings deep inside and waltz to the edge of the dance floor--alone. All the while I was dancing far away; He was a whisper away from my heart, the heart with many rooms locked up tight.
It took only one summer for Him to woo me in close, but it would take half a lifetime further to unlock all of the rooms to my heart, giving them to Him. Here is where I share my story, thus releasing the final door, and finally turning me around to face Him, totally vulnerable, cheek-to-cheek.
What I know to be true is that each one of us has this story to tell. Eventually, death comes to us all. But it's not the end of it all.