There is a misunderstanding, I believe, making its way through our collective minds. The misunderstanding is that we need a “big” story in order to make a difference.
When I was a girl growing up in youth group, our youth leaders would once in a while have someone come in to share their testimony. Or maybe it was when we went to camp. The story was usually the same.
I was an addict and slept around and then God saved me. Whether or not the details were the same, it was always a dramatic rock-bottom story, a drastic thing that elicited internal gasps from the high school and young adult crowds. We were invited either not do drugs and sleep around or to come forward and confess our lives for the first time (or again) for Christ.
There is nothing wrong with testimony or with a good story. In fact, I wholeheartedly believe that God loves, more than anything, picking up the pieces of our broken lives. It’s why He came to us. It is a prime place He is glorified.
Even so, it is the dramatic, desperate stories that get noticed. We simply can’t get enough of the drama. But the dramatic stories aren’t the whole story. And it’s not just in church or in churchy places. It’s on Facebook, on the news, during the Olympics, everywhere.
We all click through the buzz-feeds and viral-novas to the stories that elicit an emotional response: “Watch this mother and child and YOU WON’T believe what the DOG does at the END of this video!”
We love a good story. All of us do. It’s why the drug users/sleeper-arounders get the attention sometimes. It’s why the emotional dogs or tigers that hug their trainers get the notice. Because we love the big things that seem impossible. When God does set a drug user free or save a marriage, it’s a big deal because those are things that seem out of the range of possibility.
But what about the daily stories?
The ones that even for us that have “big” stories in our past or our present fill our lives? No matter the testimony or the story, each of us must live out our carpool, cubicle, laundry and take-out-on-Saturday-night lives. We must.
And these are the stories that, perhaps make more of a difference. They are the tiny, daily steps forward into faith that make us into better mothers or sisters or friends or mentors. They are small hours and small words and small things that perhaps don’t make us double with laughter, but make us smile or think because in that small thing God has taught us something.
These are the stories we tell over dinner or as we walk the downtown. These are the stories that we share over coffee or breakfast with a new friend. The things we talk about in the car on the way home from school.
My “big story?” I hardly ever write about it or even talk about it any more. Not because I don’t love what God has done or that he’s done the hard work of picking up broken pieces. No. But because it’s only a small part of the longer story he’s writing with my life.
It is a part of the longer story of me.
And your big or small stories? Those are part of the beautiful story he’s writing with you. And they may have “drama” or they may not, but it doesn’t matter. They may be noticed or not. Each daily faith risk we step into is one step closer to Him.
Let’s keep telling our stories. The big ones, sure. Like we said, we all love a great redemption story. But the small ones, too. The ones you type out on your blogs each day. The little things we share on Facebook. The breakfast tables we photograph for Instagram.
That is truly when the impossible is possible — when we all live a life of daily story with God.
So let’s keep telling all of our stories because we all need one another.