Last night, I was at a Kari Jobe concert. Kari Jobe is a worship leader! WOW! It was a night of worship! It was amazing! As I stood in the church that grew my faith immensely my freshman year of college, I found myself looking around a whole stinkin’ lot and then it hit me.
What would this world be like if we looked at everyone as the story God has given them?
Everyone has a story. We know it. We’ve heard it. But it doesn’t really change anything. It hasn’t for me, at least. Just think about it. I don’t know how many people were in that sanctuary but they all came from all different lives, all different families, with all different stories. Some might be going through the worst time of their lives; some might be experiencing joy they’ve never experienced before. There were infants and children, teenagers and college students, young parents and grandparents. Some children who I’m sure have seen their hardest days and some young parents who have yet to see theirs. God has all given us a story. My story began young as many of you know. Nine years ago today my dad lost his battle to lung cancer at only 45. I was 11. Growing up from there I was often told nobody wanted to hear about my dad. Nobody wanted my sob story. Sob stories turn people off and make people feel bad for you and then they don’t want to be around you. So I didn’t talk about the man that raised me, that loved me more than any other person I’d ever known. The man who played countless hours of softball with me and taught me everything about the sport that I loved with every minute of my time. The man who played pretend wedding with me and always asked if I’d push him in his wheelchair when he is old and gray. I didn’t talk about it.
It wasn’t until 8th grade, almost three years later, when I felt my calling into the ministry that I began to realize that I had a story for a reason and it was not to be hidden. It was to be said. It was to be told. On microphones, online, in conversations and Bible studies, in every day life and in every day minutes. God doesn’t give us pain to waste on silence. And trust me, almost all that know me know that silence is one of my favorite things. We all have a story. What if we began today seeing others as a story God has created? I am guilty of this, that is why it hit me like a ton of bricks. Being in a sanctuary full of people you can imagine the all different types of people who were gathered. They did not all look like me, they did not all worship like me, they didn’t all sing quietly like I prefer, and they didn’t all have the same “being together and smushed is better than not being together” mindset as me 🙂 As I looked around the room at all the different people, that’s when God hit me with it.
All of these people have a story. They all have what brought them to Christ and what keeps them in Christ. And God has brought us all together that night to worship Him from all different stories. It amazed me. It’s something I’ve known my whole life but something I don’t think about enough. We were all made in the image of Christ. No matter how we dress, where we come from, how we talk, how loud we sing, how much we weigh, nothing.. No matter what, we are God’s children. Jesus died for me and He died for you. He died for the jerk who cut you off in traffic this morning and He died for the teenagers who whisper and text all during church. He died for all of us and all He asks of us is to believe and to life our lives glorifying Him.
How would your life change if you saw everyone else the way Christ sees them?
How would your life change if you saw yourself the way Christ sees you?