I enjoy watching evening television, and so the last few weeks have been difficult for me. This is the time of year where the networks decide which programs will be cancelled and which of the stories that I’ve invested time in discovering are finished. Sometimes – like the accounts of the fake psychic con-man turned consultant and the family from Berkeley – the plotlines get neatly wrapped up. Other times – like the flawed Portland detective or the immortal New York City coroner – the full narrative will never be known. I find comfort, however, in two things: 1) all these stories are fictional; and 2) a whole slate of good stories will begin in a few months.
The problem comes when we realize that life imitates art and art imitates life. How many narratives have we been allowed to witness but never saw that concluding chapters? Through the course of life we lose track of people and one day ask ourselves what ever happened to that classmate or co-worker. The ways of the world conspire and diseases and disasters come crashing around us and a promising and inspiring life story is over. Unfortunately, we rarely see the story that the “author of life’ has penned from start to finish.
“Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story – those he redeemed from the hand of the foe….” Psalm 107:2
We all have a unique story to tell; one that is, in many ways, more exciting than those told on prime time television. There are those among us that have found redemption. Some of us have accounts of deliverance from a known danger – addiction, abuse, or abominable behavior – while others of us have been delivered from a never-to-be realized affliction. Some of us found redemption after a long life of hard living and others of us found redemption long before the fullness of our sinful nature was revealed. There are those among us that have yet to find that redemption, no matter how hard we have searched.
Our stories are narratives of brokenness, of rescue and of purpose revealed. Our stories need to be told, even if they are not completely written. We gain insight and compassion in sharing our brokenness. We gain perspective and hope in sharing our redemption. We gain encouragement and wholeness in sharing our purpose. We all receive when we share our life stories. The fullness of community is found in our communicating our tales. We grow, individually and together, by revealing our confusions, our challenges, our conflicts and our conquests.
I encourage you to share your story beyond social media. Grab a cup of coffee and tell someone you trust about your struggles and your strengths; it may enable those who hear the ability to learn from your experience and avoid the same troubles. Sit at a kitchen table and tell someone about your hopes and dreams; it may inspire those who hear to attempt and achieve greatness as well. Share your story – of recklessness, of redemption and of reward. I am sure that what you share will be more fascinating than that which television might air.