Knowing the stories of people has always been a fascination of mine. As I made my regular trek from MA to VT during my grad school days, I would pass by towns and wonder what it was like to live there. I wondered how far people traveled for work or for entertainment. I wondered what the community was like. I would think about what it would be like to merely move into one of these little towns and start a new journey of life. It helped pass the time and enhanced my already over-active imagination!
I still find myself pondering the stories of people’s lives. As I drive home, I wonder if others are going home, going to work or perhaps running away. As I shop at the grocery store, I consider who is shopping for a special occasion, who enjoys the experience or finds it mundane as I do, or what are people going home to? As I drive to church, my heart is heavy with those who do not appear to be driving to a similar destination.
This further leads me to wonder about the stories of people’s lives. I see people hurt and hiding. I see people disillusioned by the temporary and the superficial. I see people making decisions about God based on fallacies and misunderstandings. I see people driven to seek meaningful relationships that points to our common core for wanting valuable relationships just as God wants with each and every one of us.
Again, what are people’s stories? Have people heard about Jesus and disregard the story as irrelevant to their life? Do people feel they have been judged by Christians and believe there is no comfort to be found in God? Do some prefer to take their facts based on a science determined to erase God from His creation?
As I will never know what it is like to live in some of those communities along the highway, I will never know all the reasons that keep people from believing in God. Yet I will do my best to listen to those around me – the families that I serve, the friends I meet along the way, the people who serve me in stores and restaurants. I will listen and I will pray for all to have a true and clear understanding of the God who loves, who brings healing, who is righteous, who is merciful and full of grace, who is just, who sent His son to die in order that we could know His story of divine love. That is my most favorite story of all!