December 31 – Core Story What central story is at the core of you, and how do you share it with the world?
In some ways this should be a very easy prompt, but as I ruminated and considered it became more and more layered, this story I live and tell. On the surface, my story is bound up with the story of Christ – a story of life and light born into this very messy and broken world, a story of healing, of reaching out to the lost and unloved, a story of justice and reconciliation, a story of redemption and resurrection. I preach it, I teach it, I try (and often fail) and try again to live it.
But within that greater story of God’s unending and wide-reaching and wholly welcoming love, are lots of little stories. Stories of people who stood up for the poor and the outcast when no one else would, stories of grief and suffering and the healing power of community and love, stories of transformation – of people who had traveled to the brink of their own destruction and turned back, but by the grace of God, and found a path toward healing, love, hope, grace. These are all my stories too. I have experienced some of them, I have watched others experience some of them, sometimes I simply hope and pray for these stories because I need them, because the world needs a Word of hope, because the world needs more stories of love and joy and peace and redemption. These are the stories I place at my center, because I believe they are true, because I choose life, because they have made a mark in my heart of hearts that cannot be ignored.
Looking back on this journey, studying the reverberations that have occurred while I’ve been reflecting on 2010 and working toward manifesting 2011, I see too that my story is unique and individual as much as it is wholly universal and spiritual. My stories of redemption, of love, of joy, of hope are manifested in my life as mother, as wife, as woman, as clergy. They are as particular and personal as much as they are shared and communal. This too is my story, the one that I am creating every day, the one I both suffer through and joyfully walk, the one that is both new every morning and extends behind and ahead of me as far as I can see. It is a beautiful story, with all its twists and turns, with all its heartbreaks and tears, with all its laughter and joy.
These are the stories that swirl and twist around my very core, the stories that make up who I am, who I have been, who I hope to be, even into 2011 and beyond…