I mentioned the topic of telling stories earlier this month, in response to a message on a youth trip to San Diego. But lately it continues to be on my mind and heart, as my oldest (about to be 4 on Thursday! Yikes!) daughter continually asks me to tell her stories. Thankfully I’ve not only got a collection of stories from years of hearing/telling the stories we have in scripture….God seems to have also given me a mind that can mine the mundane for new tales to spin.
Sure, there’s the bedtime ritual, “daddy, tell me a story” that you never know if it’s a plea for literary genius, or simply a scheme to squeeze a few more minutes of consciousness into that day. But there are plenty of other times where she’ll randomly say the familiar phrase “tell me a story”.
I’m reminded of the concept of “Story” from Donald Miller’s recent book, and how part of parenting is crafting and writing a compelling story for your family. A story that connects them to something larger, and calls them into a character identity, so that they don’t feel the unresolved need to search elsewhere. Which even as a write, I realize could sound very close-minded to a non-believing reader….if I have any at all.
And I suppose I’m okay with that. I will not beat my kids with a “must love Jesus” bat, but growing up in my home I pray they will find themselves characters in a story worth living within. That their identity is both solid/firm, and beautifully/mysteriously open to their creative interaction with the God who gives it and His Universe. To invite them to find their identity in Christ, and to parent in a way that reveals that invitation as foundational Truth, and Hope-bringing to every area of their life.
I work with teens and other people on a regular basis, who are still searching for that compelling story. That character they’ve been called and created to be. That incredible role they’ve been given. It’s sad when we see someone missing out, unaware of the transformational story breaking through even now. The story of Love, Grace, Hope, and New Life that God is writing over a creation that began to write on its’ own.
I hope that’s even a little encouraging. Because I’ll confess, for me, these words come as a needed reminder. To not tire of telling stories. To hear my daughter’s plea for one more story as a testimony to how God has wired my children….they are hungry for Story. And I am a parent. A story teller.
I pray they hear the story God is telling through me, above all the 2 dimensional stories the world tries to throw at them…