Tuesday, November 28, 2006

IOW--Storytelling

This week's In Other Words is being hosted by Loni at Joy in the Morning Please join us there.

"God has delivered us, He has parted waters for us, He has made water gush forth from rocks and sent us our own manna from heaven. He has brought us into our own Promised Land. Will I miss the opportunity to tell the story to our children?"
~Ann Voskamp, Holy Experience~


My paternal grandfather (Pap-paw) was a storyteller. His stories could last for hours. Stories about traveling from Texas to Nashville. Stories about the Grand Ole Opry. Stories about farming, about my dad's and my uncle's mischief, about storms he had seen, about just about everything. Everything except how God was a part of his life. Don't get me wrong, his life showed in every way that God was a part of his life. But he didn't tell the stories. And I wish he had. I know from my grandmother and my aunt that Pap-paw went through a long period of total disillusionment with the church. He came back during a revival service week soon after I was born. So the grandfather I knew was different than the man my Dad knew in his growing up years. I'd love to have heard the stories of why, how, and when did God start wooing him back. Second-hand reports are that the change was dramatic. Did he think it was? I'll never know. I'm thankful for the story his life told--loving his family, commitment to his church, integrity in his business dealings, acceptance of people. But as I am able to tell some of his adventure stories, I wish I could tell his Jesus-story as well.

I believe that there is a lesson here. To verbally and intentionally tell the stories. To pass to our children a purposeful story of faith. Sure, we must live it and mirror it, but we also need to say it. I want Jewel and Flower to know God not just because I take them to church, introduce them to Godly people, read Bible stories to them and teach them verses. I want them to know God because they know that I know God and He has proven faithful in my life. I want them to have seen it and heard it daily to the point that when God woos their hearts and calls them to follow Him, they know it is His voice and that it is real. And if I don't tell them the stories, how will they know?

What will the stories be? In part the story of how Daddy and Mommy met in a church in Washington, how God provided a job in Alabama (and then later in England), how God blessed us with the birth of two lovely little girls long after we had decided we were not able to be parents, how God provided for us when it was time to leave a job and the new job had not been offered. Those are some of the stories. There will be more. And I need to commit now to be faithful to tell the stories, to make faith real and alive for my children until the day that they start telling their own stories. What a great day that will be!

"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.

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;
'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.

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;
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.

I love to tell the story,
'Twill be my theme in glory
To tell the old, old story
of Jesus and His love."
~words by Katherine Hankey, 1866

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is sooo true. I have a grandfather who was just like it. The one I knew did things for the church every Saturday, volunteered, etc. The Father my Mom knew was someone harsh and not approachable. I praise God he changed, but I don't know the story of why.

I agree we need to pass these stories down.

eph2810 said...

I totally agree with you. If our children don't hear the story from us first hand, who will introduce them to God's faithfulness. A faith well lived tells its own story. God will woo them in His own way, but you have given them a piece of the puzzle.

Blessings on your day and always.

Leslie said...

Thank you for sharing that!

Anonymous said...

what a great post! It's so important to hear those things first hand. I was fortunate to hear those types of stories from my hubby's grandparents.

The Imperfect Christian said...

What a great treasure you have to pass on! And thank you for sharing that poem, I enjoyed it a great deal!

Loni said...

This reminded me of my grandpa. I am thankful for the treasures of stories he shared too. Thanks for writing this!

Anonymous said...

We all have stories! How wonderful for you that you had your Paw-Paw and were able to glean from his life many things, including the lesson to never leave stories untold.

jen said...

Stories from our fathers and grandfathers are so important and special
I didnt even know my grandparents were Chrsitains until their funeral
my mother didnt get on with them
its sad in ways
It will be special to meet up with them again one day and share that time in Glory

Ame said...

this is beautiful ... and beautifully written :) thank you for reminding me of this song ... how interesting it was written by a woman

Sara Laughs said...

Beautiful! Thank you for the reminder.

Sissy B. said...

This is why I depend on those books like Thomas Kinkade's "A Journal of Faith and Love, Mother's Memories to her Child". It asks us to answer questions like: "What was my mother's greatest gift to me" or "My mother taught me that God...." this is a great book for those of us who are more inclined to write then tell a story...like me ;)It is so very important, as you so elogquently wrote, for us to tell the whole story of our lives...especially the part that made us whole.