Telling Stories

Though I may speak some tongue of old
Or even spit out some holy word
I have no strength from which to speak
When you sit me down and see I’m weak

We will run and scream
You will dance with me
They’ll fulfill our dreams and we’ll be free
And we will be who we are
And they’ll heal our scars
Sadness will be far away
-Mumford & Sons, Not With Haste

Yesterday was a day that I’d been looking forward to for a long time. And when the day arrived it did not disappoint. Because good art doesn’t come along every day. And as Chris has said in this space, “Good art changes us. It offends us. It forces us to notice.”

And yesterday was about good art.

I’m not sure there’s another artist – whether they work with music, paint or poetry – that speaks to my soul like Mumford & Sons. Their first album Sigh No More came out in 2010 at a time when I was missing music in my life and put words to what I was feeling at that time in my life. It was about faith, doubt and seeing the world as it really is.

So I eagerly awaited the release of their new album Babel. And I spent most of my time
yesterday listening to the songs over and over. It spoke to my soul. I thought about God as a lover of my soul. How I sometimes fight against him, but can never escape his presence. I was reminded of the wandering of my heart and how God continually beckons me home. And I was led to sing along with the words of hope asking God for strength to just keep moving forward with him:

Keep the earth below my feet
For all my sweat, my blood runs weak
Let me learn from where I have been
Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn
Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn
Below My Feet

In other words, I worshipped. By listening to their story I considered my own. And that led me to God.

There’s so much that I want to say about this. I want to talk about what we define as “Christian” – how that word is a very poor adjective. I want to talk about what worship truly is. I want to talk about all the unexpected places where God can be found. But those discussions are better left for another time.

Here is what I was reminded of yesterday: There is something powerful and important that happens when we tell our stories. This band puts words to some of the deep places in my heart that I have difficulty accessing. Their songs speak truth into my life as they tell me about theirs. They give me a chance to say, “Me, too.”

We have to tell our stories. And it doesn’t matter how that story comes out of you – through music or writing or service or conversation or painting. Because when you open yourself up and let someone else into your story they are led to understand their own. And to see that it connects to a much greater story.

It doesn’t have to be pretty; it just needs to be true. 

By telling each other our stories we cease talking about God and begin interacting with him. And I’m pretty certain that’s where good worship happens.

So what stories speak to you? Where have you found someone else speaking the words you couldn’t? I’d love to hear. Because we need good stories.

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2 thoughts on “Telling Stories

  1. I love a good a story! And I agree, it doesn’t really matter how that story comes out. In fact, I love being surprised by a story in a place I never expected.

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