We are God’s story… and God’s story-tellers
We are God’s story, the story of divine love, the Greatest Story Ever Told. The Greatest Story Ever Told is a 1965 American epic film, winner of several Academy Awards. (How it came to be is a story in itself.)
We are God’s story… AND God’s storytellers
Are you a storyteller? What’s your story? Have you ever thought of God as a storyteller? What story is God telling? Is God helping us tell the story of our lives? Is God calling us to be God’s storytellers to others, especially those who think or don’t believe they are loved?
Some people are born storytellers. They just know how to tell a story. But the best stories are the stories that tell themselves… especially without words. A young man in love may trip over himself in trying to tell the story of his love. But the person he loves doesn’t get sidetracked by the words but just knows what he is trying to say.
Pope Francis and storytelling
In a Wednesday Audience, Pope Francis said “the Bible is a ‘love letter’ from God”
In his message for the 54th World Day of Communications unpacks a passage I have read many times… but not the way he does. “That you may tell your children and grandchildren” (Ex 10:2) He urges us to listen to the story God is telling us. He wants us to recognize we are key players in that story. He wants each of us to become God’s storyteller.
We are also God’s storytellers. Do you know your story and your part in telling the story?
I strongly recommend reading it. Read it straight through. It is not that long. But I suspect you will pause frequently, as I did, to appreciate the beauty of what and how he says it.
Pope Francis in his own words…
- I want to dedicate this year’s message to the theme of storytelling, because I believe that in order not to get lost we need to breathe the truth of good stories: stories that build, not destroy; stories that help to find the roots and strength to move forward together.
- Amid the cacophony of voices and messages that surround us, we need a human story that can speak of ourselves and of the beauty all around us.
- In the confusion of the voices and messages that surround us, we need a human narrative, which talks to us about us and the beauty that lives there. A narration that knows how to look at the world and events with tenderness; that tells our being part of a living fabric; that reveals the intertwining of the threads with which we are connected to each other.
- We (descendants of Adam and Eve) are not just the only beings who need clothing to cover our vulnerability (cf. Gen 3: 21); we are also the only ones who need to be “clothed” with stories to protect our lives. … our story has been threatened: evil snakes its way through history.
- The Gospel of John tells us that the quintessential storyteller – the Word – himself becomes the story: “God’s only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known” (Jn 1: 18).
- The history of Christ is not a legacy from the past; it is our story, and always timely. … “You” – Saint Paul wrote – “are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Cor 3:3).
- With the gaze of the great storyteller – the only one who has the ultimate point of view – we can then approach the other characters, our brothers and sisters, who are with us as actors in today’s story. For no one is an extra on the world stage, and everyone’s story is open to possible change. Even when we tell of evil, we can learn to leave room for redemption; in the midst of evil, we can also recognize the working of goodness and give it space.
His concluding prayer
Mary, woman and mother, you wove the divine Word in your womb, you recounted by your life the magnificent works of God. Listen to our stories, hold them in your heart and make your own the stories that no one wants to hear. Teach us to recognize the good thread that runs through history. Look at the tangled knots in our life that paralyze our memory. By your gentle hands, every knot can be untied. Woman of the Spirit, mother of trust, inspire us too. Help us build stories of peace, stories that point to the future. And show us the way to live them together.
Food for thought…
- What’s your story?
- Have you ever thought of God as a storyteller?
- What story is God telling?
- Is God helping us understand the story of our lives?
- Is God calling us to be God’s storytellers to others, especially those who think or don’t believe they are loved?