“As followers of Jesus Christ we are invited into a life where our story merges with the story of God, an intersection if you will, where His dreams become our dreams and we begin a journey of faith to increasingly love him and increasingly love people.” – Nick Francis Stephens
Lately I have had the privilege to hear a lot of people’s stories. This evening it was that of a waitress named Shamire at Bob Evans. Her buoyant manner and positive attitude as she first approached Dianne and I at the table intrigued me. I found as she returned to bring us coffee, serve our food, tempt us with dessert, that I was growing interested in knowing her story. I am a professional who is benefited by the skill of starting conversations with strangers and asking questions that people seem to want to answer. Soon I learned that she was a student in the culinary arts, that she loved her family, that being responsible for herself was teaching her to be responsible, and that she genuinely liked most of her customers — even the nosy ones like me. “I look forward to serving you two again,” she said as we began to wrap up the dinner. Her story and the comfortable way she told it made we want to hear more about this young woman just staring a career and paying her dues to the basic lessons of life.
In many ways, this is what faith sharing involves. We have a story. Someone else has a story. Our stories become points of relational intersection where the stranger becomes an acquaintance and perhaps, finally, a friend. Our stories create points of identification that remove barriers and build bridges.
For a Christian, our personal story is an extension of God’s story. For God is working in and through our lives — writing a story that has his imprint upon it. So when we share our stories, stories born out of our faith experience, we create relational intersections for God and our listener.
Hopefully, that blended story will capture their imagination and draw them into it as well.