Jump in the Story

“As a pastor, I see situations daily that nobody should ever have to go through alone. Nobody should ever have to wait alone in the hospital while a loved one is in life-or-death surgery. No woman should ever have to wait alone for the lab report on a problem pregnancy. Nobody should ever have to wait for news from a battlefield alone. Nobody should ever have to stand at the edge of an open grave alone. Nobody should ever have to spend the first night alone when their spouse has just walked out.”
~ Rick Warren

So God, in his infinite and loving wisdom, places us in community. We are not alone in such times. We are family. Eugene Peterson said, “No Christian is an only child.”

And every member of the family writes a story with his life. Some chapters are easy reads with happy tones; others are sad and hard. When chapters are good, it’s easy to jump into another’s story; when bad, storyit’s more challenging.

When I was little, I loved placing my Malibu Barbie and Ken in all types of story scenarios: sometimes they were teachers; sometimes they were married; sometimes they were strangers on a ski slope. I could take them in and out of story lines at will. (And, I might add, in fashionable attire thanks to hand-crafted Barbie clothes specially tailored for them by my Grandma in Mississippi.)

Now that I’m an adult, it is me that I can place at will in and out of certain story lines. I can choose (sometimes) whose story I’ll get involved with, and whose I’ll back away from.

But the bigger character in every story is always God. If I’m going to honor him as the star in every story, I have to choose my parts carefully. He did. Full of care, he inserted himself into the human story in a physical way. For a spiritual purpose. Life itself. His incarnation drastically changed my story line forever.

If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
~ 1 Corinthians 12:26

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
~ Romans 12:15

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
~ Galatians 6:2

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
~ John 1:14

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