S is for STORY
Every person and every people has a story. There is a story that can transform them all.
The stories can numb us if they remain in the larger categories in which they are often told.
The refugees…the poor…the Roma…the shooting victims…
But within every grand category lie thousands of individual stories—precious, unique, important, and infinitely valuable.
I saw several of my friends killed, said one young Iraqi man, waiting to be processed at a refugee camp in Croatia. I want to go to university in Germany, to have some kind of better life.
All the glaring news emerging from the big categories fades into the background like buzzing bees as each person's story takes on the hue, texture, and scent of a diverse flower garden.
I just really want to know if Jesus loves me, if he cares about my life and the things that have happened to me, said one Roma woman, tears involuntarily filling her eyes.
It is through the individual story where we listen and understand the real story, unmitigated by cameras, stereotypes, and blanket assumptions. Here we listen to a person's heart—her sorrows, burdens, and joys—to see and marvel at whom God has created.
If we listen to the stories, we understand how God has been pursing and wooing. We can help point the storyteller to the only grand narrative that illuminates story rather than obscuring it —God's story—a story that will transform their own.
Melody Wachsmuth is a mission writer and researcher in Eastern Europe.
Check out the Intro to the A-Z Series.