I’m starting to think that we should all hold funerals pre-death.
Hear me out. It seems such a shame that the wonderful stories of people’s lives are only told once they aren’t there to embellish them. Almost every funeral that I’ve ever attended has made me realise that I barely knew a fraction of the person who had died, and now, too late, I can’t discuss these amazing stories with them.
Our stories are extraordinary. We too often package them up into boxes, themed and sorted by suitability, revealing only certain boxes to certain people. Maybe this is why our stories spill out after death, when friends join together and open all the boxes at once.
Our Life Group spent the summer eating together. We dumped our usual worship and Bible Study in favour of setting the table, eating, chatting, washing up, and praying together. In amongst the chilli and the cake, and discussions on films and history and flea circuses, we found out more about each other than we had before. We found out how very different we are. We heard each other’s stories, which, while showing our differences, showed even more that ours is the same story of rescue and redemption and love in the hand of Jesus.
I went to a funeral last week of a lady whose story is far removed from mine. Her troubles were much worse. Her exuberance was extraordinary. Her enjoyment of concerts and live music made her effortlessly cooler than me. Her story, however, was the same as mine. It was one of grace. Of God’s faithfulness. Of his unending love.
So here’s what I’m suggesting: I think we need to share our stories now. I think we need to talk about the times where we’ve felt blessed, and the times where we’ve had to reassess what ‘blessed’ really means.
I’m bored of the sound of my own voice.
I like writing, and chatting, and expressing myself, but right here, there’s too much me, and not enough you. I was thinking this today, and then I read an article that said that we should use our church websites to share our stories. So for once, I listened.
We’re going to keep using this website for information. For notice of events. For occasional posts where I assert theologically suspicious things (I had a great one on St. Michael half written before I started to doubt most of what I had actually written…). But I also want us to use it to get to know each other better. To tell each other our stories, and to encourage each other.
Because here’s the thing. He is the God of every story. He sees each tear that falls. We may not understand, but one thing is certain: He’s a faithful, faithful God.
‘God Of Every Story’ by Laura Story (c) 2013