Welcome to my blog! I had not planned for this to be my first post. However, since there was an itch this week, here is me writing.
Last week a friend committed suicide. A few days ago a person I was discipling walked away. Two days ago I met with some friends to talk about creation.
It would be a lie to say this was an easy week. It wasn’t. I had hoped that many of these stories would turn out different; but they didn’t. Their stories had a twist I did not expect.
Stories are meant to be told. Every author hopes to have the story they write told. Like the books that may line your shelf, each of has a very unique story that needs to be told. A story that is finely crafted with nuanced details. A story that is beautiful and filled with joy, heartache, laughter, grief, shame and at times redemption. Yet, quiet often these stories remain untold, never spoken. Even to the ones whom we love.
We cry out this is not how things were meant to be.
Deep down we know something has gone terribly wrong.
The story we are attempting to write often ends up being bittersweet. Not as we imagined. Not what we were expecting.
Self-narration continues to become popular in therapy, philosophy and the various humanities. People retell their stories and reframe them in new and wondrous ways. In the first draft based upon a person’s life experience they may write, express and understand themselves as the victim. In the next rewrite with new framing, they may toss away this marker and place upon themselves the mantle of the conquering victor over the oppressors. The problem with self-narration is that we accept our stories as truth until proven otherwise. Can truth change? There lies the problem.
The hardest person to be truthful with is yourself.
Deep down we have to realize the stories we are writing about ourselves, whether consciously or unconsciously, are subjective. These stories, these truths we are espousing about ourselves, are malleable just like we are malleable. If you are the author alone of your own story, then you are able to write whatever truth you deem good and necessary for yourself.
On Wednesday I met with some friends over pastries to discuss the doctrine of creation. We talked about many things from ex nihilio to creatio continua. One of the things we talked about during our time together was the belief that all creation was created with purpose and intent. That the one who exists both outside of space and time, before there was even the existence of an atom, had intention for us. God had written a larger story that weaves in the smaller stories of creation.
We talked about love and the Trinity. We talked about Richard of St. Victor’s definition of love in the Trinity. A perfection of love where each person of the Trinity’s fervent love desires calls out for others to be loved their lover as they have been loved and to encourage others to fall in love with their love as deeply as they love them. We talked about how creation flows forth from this love as we are called to love the Triune God and to be loved by Him. We talked about how love is something we must choose to do willingly. It is something that cannot and must not even be attempted to be forced. Love must be freely given.
What has this anything to do with suicide or walking away from the faith? In both situations my friends rejected the story they were living and picked up the pen to write. One chose to end their story by writing the final chapter. The other is attempting to write herself a new story with a different kind of ending. Deep down we believe and know there is something out there. Something concrete. We know this world with all its pain and suffering is not as it should be. There has to be an answer. An answer that is rooted in truth that is not subject to change.
As a Christian I believe there is a creator who is writing a much larger story. He is inviting us to have our story interwoven, defined, written and tied into His. As we give up the authorship of our lives, we find the Spirit of God is providing new meaning in our lives as He writes our story. Part of our obedience in following after Jesus is saying not my will but His be done. Not my will, but his. His will, in life, in our stories.
My two friends picked up the pen and began to write their own story. The invitation of Jesus is to lay down your pen and let Him write your story. Who better is able to write the story than the very author of life?