Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stories

I have been thinking quite a bit lately about our stories – our lives. Do you know someone with a great story? I do. It’s you!

I watched a movie the other night that I have seen several times before. The part I love most about this film, is a theme that is actually in the monologue of one of the characters. It is the theme of story telling. He urges another to find out the story behind the case he is trying so that he may win the hearts of those seated in judgment.

We all have a story to tell. Some read like a great mystery or perhaps a tragedy. Mine is sometimes an epic saga and often a comedy. But to those who know me best my story is a never ending adventure.

Not long ago, I was in a situation where I was constantly being told someone else’s story – someone I was sitting in for while on an assignment. It was not a very good story and I imagined that it was not really their true story, but instead it the result of what their life’s circumstances had brought placed in their lap. I later found out I was correct.

I never will forget my first initial encounter with this individual. It seemed that most of what I’d heard was possibly true. In fact, not willing to be persuaded by another’s opinions, I decided early on to let this person tell their own story through the process of living their life where I could see it. Now, with it unfolding before my eyes I was becoming somewhat annoyed by their behavior.

Then, it happened. I began to hear their story. It was not so much in the words they shared but in the revelation I received while listening. Annoyance began to give way to pity, and pity to compassion. The story everyone else saw was different from the one I was encountering at that moment, and I quickly became ashamed of my shrouded view.

What’s your story? Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever shared it? I think about my friends that shared some difficult scenes from their past just a few weekends ago and how proud I was of them for being that vulnerable before so many. Have you ever allowed yourself to be truly vulnerable, even with just one or two dear friends?

Have you ever considered how closely you walk with those you count as true friends? How well do they really know you? Has your story touched their lives in some way ? I hope so! Otherwise, what’s the point of the journey? My dearest friends are such because of their stories – our stories and because they are well acquainted with mine!

I have a different view of the person I met whose story was been tainted in the sight of so many others. I am nothing special and not any better than the others in that environment who knew her story. I just simply listened, not only to what was said but also to the unspoken things that resounded louder than any words that could have been expressed.

Again, I ask you. What is your story? Let me ask it another way. Who knows your story? It is a need we all have to be truly known others who will share in our joys, our sorrows and in our adventures and to be loved and valued throughout the journey.

We must also consider who’s story we have not heard? Who’s life we may have missed out on because their genre was perhaps not to our liking? You never know. That person clamoring for our attention may have a best seller for a life with even a twist somewhere there in the middle. However, we may never find out if we will not determine to turn the page in our offended mind, so that we may simply listen.