Friday, April 04, 2008

Every Heart Has a Story

Lately, I've been pondering the idea that every single person is a story in motion, still being written.

Each and every one of us really is living in a story, complete with interesting characters, fascinating settings, and twisting, turning plots that would make any writer's head spin. We are the characters in others' stories, and they in ours. And all of us in God's bigger story.

I feel like the Lord is trying to teach me how to listen to these stories. When I talk to somebody, I'm learning to allow myself to hear everything they are saying, and not to impose something into the story that isn't really there.

I've always had the bad habit of sizing a person up before I even hear the first word out of their mouth. If it turns out they are pretty close to the mold I had already set, then mission accomplished -- I've already got things basically figured out, and don't have to give it any more thought. If they turn out to be something completely different than I expected, that may interest me for a moment while I size things up again and look for the right container. Ah, there it is. Problem solved.

Do you hear how utterly dehumanizing that is? I'm sorry to have to admit that I function like this so much of the time. With the Lord's help, it's something I'm trying to change.

I'm finding that when I listen to the story, there are always unexpected elements there. I now understand why the person behind the counter was so curt, when I realize that her car was just repossessed, and her dearly beloved aunt died yesterday. People will generally not be forthcoming with this sort of information, but I think it's easy to find there, if I listen closely.

If I'm going to live this way, I'm going to need lots of time to listen. You see, we've been taught to be so busy, moving from one task to another, that we rarely take the time to stop and just listen to the stories all around us.


  1. It's like one huge story with an enormous ensemble cast. We each get our own chapter. Some of us, like me, are kept going by the writing on our hearts by the author and finisher of our faith. And we can't wait for the happy never-ending.

  2. Sam - I've read parts of your story on your blog, and your story is not all that different from mine in many ways. I wish there was something I could do or say to help, but I just have to trust that the Lord really is the healer of hearts, and is better able to do it than anyone. So I'm praying for you.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting!