As a pastor’s wife, I often defer to my husband to be the one with the voice when it comes to spiritual matters. After all, he is the one with the seminary degree, knowledge of the scriptures, the one asked to speak behind pulpits, in front of small groups, address large crowds.
And when we joined the Anglican world twelve years ago, I decided that my voice would remain at a whisper due to the crowded rooms of intellectual veracity. I assumed that the pursuits of those who spent years in institutions of learning far exceeded my abilities to impart anything substantial in the dialogue among learned leaders.
So, I tuned out. Until recently.
Because Jesus didn’t just preach in the book of Mark and teach in the book of Matthew, he also told stories, used informal conversations to disciple in the book of Luke. Jesus spoke in parables.
Did you know that the word parable means something thrown alongside? Something unspiritual to help us see truth spattered throughout the mundane of life.
Like the way a shoe thrown alongside the road makes me think about how it got there and why. How a smashed water bottle leads to thoughts of children walking alongside dusty roads in Rwanda, the discarded water bottle of a foreigner, a treasure in their hand.
Stories to help people think differently about life.
Jesus used yeast in bread dough as an analogy for the way the Kingdom of God permeates all of life (Luke 13:20), a narrow door to explain how entering heaven isn’t easy (Luke 13:23-30), finding a lost coin to illustrate joy when one sinner repents (Luke 15:8-10).
On his way to Jerusalem, between his ministry and the ultimate sacrifice he made for us, Jesus told those who never heard of him and those who didn’t want to know him, about the Kingdom of God through informal conversations.
During the week, in between Sundays, whom are you telling about the Kingdom of God through the stories of your life?
Now, instead of tuning out, making assumptions about what I have to contribute, I engage in conversations with the Chanel girls behind the counter at Dillards, the cashier at Food Lion, a friend over a bowl of salad, the UPS driver who comes to my door more often than he probably should, the clerk at the bookstore who helps me find amazing books and the men and women who wear collars and clergy shirts.
And none of those conversation begin with Thus Saith the Lord.
Because through the sanctity in the language that is our story, we acknowledge the truth of His grace, His mercy, and His redemption.
Inspiration for this post comes from a weekly bible study with beautiful women based on the book, Tell it Slant by Eugene Peterson.
Continuing the Joy Dare with Ann today to count thanks. If your joining this community to do the dare together, counting three a day to reach 1000 in 2012, leave your thanks in the comment box so we can celebrate thankfulness together; a unified smile across the miles.
- For tears of grief over losing my precious dog, because they wash away pain, reveal perspective.
- Nine years of joy with a faithful companion.
- Cuddled up under covers with my precious daughter to watch Downton Abbey to stop the tears, give swollen eyes peace and laugh joy.
- The hug of a friend who walks across the room when she sees me, knows my sorrow.
- For text messages, Facebook comments, and words on this blog that bring comfort.
- The revelation of storytelling as a call.
- A husband who caresses my back all the way home from the vet’s office while he can barely see through the tears to drive.
- For empathy, because it provides the basis for telling story and healing.