Stories have always been a vital part of the Women of Faith experience. As our former president Mary Graham often said, “Be like Jesus; tell a story.” In this story from 2005, Luci tells stories about telling stories…
When I think of summer, I always remember the storytellers in my family. There were a bunch of us. All we needed to do was sit down with one of our kinfolk…on a bench, in a car, over a meal…and in no time we were off and running. Stories flying all over the place! My favorite people are storytellers. They do great things to shore up loneliness and mend fences. I’m convinced some of our best actors and writers started out by telling stories to family members.
My folks used to play “42” with friends (it’s a domino game, for those of you too young to remember) and as they laughed and had a high old time, we kids swapped stories…made up sometimes, but usually things we’d actually been into that week or that day. We passed many a lazy summer evening like that. There’s something about hearing stories that make me forget my own problems, taking me to a sort of never-never land where joy is in the air and burdens are lifted. I often remember what was passed on to me in a well-told story.
My friend Debbie is one of the most charming storytellers I know. She can mimic dialects to a tee and doesn’t forget a syllable about the plot—easy to follow and enjoyable to listen to. She just spent a couple days and nights with me as my houseguest in Texas and kept me entertained with one story after another. Debbie happens to be facing some very challenging issues just now in the condo where she lives in Florida and she’s not sure what to do about them. But, as she told stories regarding these issues, we found ourselves laughing and crying, sometimes in the same sentence. It was a boon to my spirit and a tonic for her dilemma. Anne Lamott says, “Storytelling does our hearts and spirits good…and when we laugh, it’s moisture to the soul. The hardness is broken and the armor we have up is dropped.”
I can picture Christ and His disciples doing this together on summer evenings along the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Can you? Can you see it in your mind’s eye? As these men opened their hearts to one another and the Savior, who knows but what they were also knit together in a strong bond of friendship and camaraderie?
When you’re sitting outside this month on a warm summer night with your family and friends, talk about things that happened that day. Things that made you think and feel. There’s a story in there somewhere. You might not see it at first, but it’s underneath all the stuff that’s getting you down. Uncover it and make notes. It could be the plot for your very first novel.