Between seeing the movie “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” and my ongoing work in a column called, “Impact: Serving the Body,” at my church, it occurred to me to encourage everyone to ask people about their stories. This electronic cave we have moved into often leads to too much isolation. If we don’t get out and ask questions, we will never see God at work among us. If we don’t open our eyes, we will miss His blessings. If we spend all of our time on social networking, we will miss life. Why ask people about their stories?
“Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” was an excellent movie. I’m not sure I understand why people thought it obnoxious. They must have missed the beautiful human connections Oscar made with the people he met in New York, a lost grandfather, a struggling marriage, and the grief that created a wall between his mom and him. They must have missed the story line how Oscar worked through his grief and guilt. 9/11 was in the background, but not the story itself. A shy and unique boy with so many fears managed to force himself to talk to people and cross bridges he thought would collapse and ride elevators he thought would break in buildings he thought would fall. Then, on Monday I worked on some ‘Impact’ stories.
I asked people six simple questions, and got so many perspectives. The Impact articles are really a journey as I interview people online, and I get to go to church with these people. I know what they look like and what they love to do at church. I am blessed to see God work in them, around them, and consequently in me. It’s humbling. These are low-key people. Some of them I follow on Facebook. Some of them I lead in ministry. Some of them I never really got to know but said hello in passing. There are stories behind their smiles.
Someone asked me, “What is God doing in Revive (our worship environment with contemporary music and a bistro feel)?”
Where do I start? What can I say? There’s so much to tell. God is doing something in every service, in the people who serve, and their stories amaze me. It’s their stories that rise above the apathy. We don’t hear them enough, because we’re not asking. We’re self-involved.
…and you know what? I, too, could be accused of being too self-involved. Look at the treasure trove of wisdom, grace, humor, and love that comes from stories. Maybe that’s why I feature other people’s stories on my site. I want God to use me to open up your eyes to see the bigger world. Our brothers and sisters in Christ could be more linked together in friendship if we shared more with each other and were brave enough to be vulnerable with each other.
Yeah, it hurts. Rejection often does hurt. Still, isn’t God the Healer? Can’t He heal what others break?
So ask that woman to coffee and interview her for your blog. Ask that man to go on a hike with you and find out his story. The worst they can say is no.
What do you think?