Thursday, May 14, 2009

Telling the Story

"So the man went away and told all over town what Jesus had done for him." Luke 8:39

Today would be my Dad's 92nd birthday, if he had lived. We lost him at age 76, while he was still active and telling the story. My father was a real character- a Presbyterian minister, a navy chaplain, a father of five - and most of all a devout Christian. He didn't take his faith for granted nor was he ashamed, and although he had retired in 1985, he kept busy, helping out at various churches in the area and leading a healing conference every summer. He loved to entertain people and he loved to tell stories. He would hoist a child up into his lap, usually one of his grandchildren and just start telling a story from his life, whether true or only slightly exaggerated. He knew God's love in his life and told that love story all over town.

Jesus heals a man who had been demon possessed sending the legion of demons into a herd of swine. This is a man who had been chained and guarded by his family. He was a danger to himself and everyone around him. But Jesus changed all that, and he came to Jesus in order to know what to do. He had spent so much of his time in agony and out of his mind, he didn't really know how to take the first step. So Jesus told him to tell his story. Simple. Tell the story and everything else will follow along.

And so today, I want to follow Jesus' instruction. To tell my story as I go along, and not worry about the details beyond. It is so easy for me and others to get wrapped up in details and future planning that we forget the right now. We forget to be grateful and tell our stories. So today, I ask for strength to tell my story and to let Jesus direct my steps. The journey ahead is a big one. But I know if I tell what I know and follow Jesus, all will be well. May we each have the courage and tenacity to tell our stories and to follow Jesus. God's love surrounds us, and by living our stories and gratitude, we can make that love evident wherever we go.

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