The other night I had the privilege of taking a walk with two of my daughters. There was a time in my life when I just needed "some time." I'd put my shoes on, instruct everyone to stay with Daddy and I'd take a quick walk up the hill…just enjoy the quiet. Now, when they ask I allow them and when they don't ask, I invite them. I am too aware that one day I'll have quiet so for now I'll take some squeaky girls. As soon as we began up the hill they asked. "Mom, tell us a good story about when you were a little girl. A new story." Now, the real unfortunate end of this is that there just aren't that many good stories to tell. I didn't come to know Jesus until I was 19 and I was a really hard teenager…one of many in my home. Their favorites are when Uncle Andy dropped the mirror and Poppy broke the table. Um…not the best stories, although they are really funny…in a broken sort of way. So, I told them about the time I wet my pants when I was 15 because my "friend" (it was my boyfriend, but we haven't had that conversation with them yet) warned me (on Alice Lane on Halloween) that if he heard a shotgun he was leaving and if I wasn't in his truck he would leave me. Well, there were a bunch of us and we heard something and he took off! Sally and I went running after the truck, jumped in the bed and fear ran right down our leg! TMI? Sorry, it's what I had at the time. I told you, I don't have much! They laughed and I laughed. I remembered sweet Mrs. Hudson told me I could come into her house even if I'd wet my pants and Larry pulled a towel out of his tool box for the ride home. And…I was sober! So, obviously I only have PG stories for my girls. We did talk about why I wasn't kind and why I was hard on Grandma and that I didn't know how to be kind because I didn't have the Holy Spirit and how you'll never regret being kind, but you'll always regret being mean. They love to hear my stories. Then there are the other stories we tell them.
Kings and spies and enemies and warriors and temples and this one group of people that just couldn't be faithful. The One King that rescued them. We tell that story everyday all day. This time of year we read the story in the morning and then we read the story again at night. Tracing Jesse's tree for all of the clues, all of the stories that point us to the One worth telling over and over and over again. I tell the story in the morning before we find direct objects and divide with decimals. I tell them the story when tempers flair and words shoot out like venom and burn holes in souls and no one knew it could happen so quickly. I tell the story when the venom is mine and souls are theirs and I beg for forgiveness for being too quick to speak and too slow to listen. I tell the story when we thumbtack headliners and talk about Providers. I tell them the story when Goodwill has curtains and Daddy comes home early. Then, after our bellies are full with the Provision called supper, we listen to the story again. All day, from sun up to sun down it's the Story. It's the best one I have. It makes all of the other stories not so sad, not so broken, not so "now." I've got a new Story to tell and I've got everyday to tell it. I tell it sometimes when I smile instead of scowl. When I sing instead of scream. When I praise instead of curse. I tell them the Story. I am a Story teller. I've only got One Story, though. It's a good One, I thank Him for that. It's worth telling over and over and over and over again. I love to hear it, I'll tell you that. I love to tell it. That's what I do. That's how I spend my days. I am a Story teller, the great news is that the Story is True and it is mine, and yours if you know Jesus. Have you heard the story? The story of the broken girl who longed for healing and couldn't believe when she heard the story about the Man who came, left his throne and wealth and palace warm and arrived as a poor carpenter's son? Then, He grew and became a man that broke the laws that didn't matter to keep the one's that do. He was perfect in every way the little girl wasn't and then He laid down His life to redeem that girl from her miry mess. If that wasn't enough He introduced her to the One that made her and that One explained why she was bruised and broken and He healed her right up and continues to manage her broken parts to this very day. That is me! I was and am that little girl and that One is my King. He pulled me up and out of that miry pit and put a song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to my God. So, that's how I spend my days. I just tell that Story all. day. long.
I Love to Tell the StoryText: Katherine Hankey, 1834-1911
I love to tell the story
of unseen things above, of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love. I love to tell the story, because I know 'tis true; it satisfies my longings as nothing else can do. Refrain: I love to tell the story, 'twill be my theme in glory, to tell the old, old story of Jesus and his love. I love to tell the story; more wonderful it seems than all the golden fancies of all our golden dreams. I love to tell the story, it did so much for me; and that is just the reason I tell it now to thee. (Refrain) I love to tell the story; 'tis pleasant to repeat what seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet. I love to tell the story, for some have never heard the message of salvation from God's own holy Word. (Refrain) I love to tell the story, for those who know it best seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest. And when, in scenes of glory, I sing the new, new song, 'twill be the old, old story that I have loved so long.
So, I did do something before I told Stories…but now I could do nothing else.