Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Story Time.....Are you a sentence a chapter or the whole darn book?

When we hear a story of a person's life we are often affected in some sort of way.  The story of triumph through tragedy is inspiring, uplifting and we just can't get enough of those stories. While we are moved and encouraged by other's amazing experiences we are often reluctant to become a part of their stories. Why? Because we're not quite sure of how much of our time and emotional energy it might require.  If we ask how someone is doing it automatically puts us in a position to listen, help, be a part and to care.  We often feel that we must be that other person's answer to the woes they are sharing. So we can become reluctant to connect, ask, or to involve ourselves.

If we could look at it a different way.  The interesting thing about human connection is that not one of us is the complete answer for another.  However, we can be helpful and needed and influential for just one step of the process. One chapter, one paragraph, one sentence of their story.

A person, any person's story is written with involvement from many, many people and experiences. We can do what our abilities and personality allow and then with faith expect that someone of life experience and knowledge that we don't have will take up where we've left off.  Sort of like a relay race.  There's always someone there to take the next lap.

One day while driving through my neighborhood I saw a young lady (probably early 20's) walking. She was walking quickly and seemed not ok.  I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a young man not too far behind her.  As I passed them and continued to watch through my mirror it was clear she was getting away from him and he wasn't too happy. I pulled over. "Do you need help, can I give you a ride?" I asked.  At first she said no but with him approaching, she said sure and hopped in my car. At that moment I knew that I had a few minutes with this young lady who I had never met and probably never will again.  I began to talk, asked her name, asked where I could take her where she would be safe.  Offered as much help as I could and that she would accept. She asked me to take her to work that she would be safe there and could arrange for a family member to pick her up later. I talked, I encouraged, told her that she was deserving of love and that this isn't what love looks like. We parked in front of where she worked and before she went in I took her hand and prayed for her. She got out of the car and I haven't seen her since.  The place where she worked is no longer there. I hope and pray that someone else was there to take the next lap, to drop into her life and take her further.  I pray someone else had a moment of influence and relationship with her that would lead her life to Christ.

What story is seated next to you?  What stories do you enter each day just by doing your everyday things?  What story have you not yet stepped into but feel you must?

We don't always have the privilege of years of relationship with people. Life is a  winding tale that involves love, encouragement, wisdom and influence by many. Sometimes that influence may be just a moment, a word, a gesture.

So hopefully we can involve ourselves in other's lives without thought of what it might take from us but rather what it ultimately adds to us.  To continually ask ourselves, what story is sitting next to me and how can I be a part?

#influence #story #relationship #whatsyourstory