The answer has lingered for a long while. Listen and glean, think and share. I can manage the first three without lifting a finger, it comes easy to me. If I sit still long enough, life stories come to me. They, however, don’t go the other way. I have had more than one counselor/pastor suggest finding that one person that I can spill my insides to, three years later, I’m still wondering when someone will catch on to the fact that still hasn’t happened.
Part of that doesn’t mesh though with a very small calling that has grown from within. To be a storyteller, visual or narrative, requires a level of self-disclosure that I don’t possess. The echo inside continues. I continue to ignore it. I want to be a storyteller who doesn’t have to share her own story. The brokenness can stay locked away. Hopes can stay inside where only I can be disappointed if they don’t happen. But reminders of my running away are everywhere. Opening Instagram, I’m given beautiful imagery and quotes that convict. I spend days as a stay-at-home roommate thinking, today is the day to get started! And then I take a nap, twice.
Share the past. Live now. Hope in the future.
Live now in the hope of the future rooted in the living memory of the past.
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare…For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.” — Jeremiah 29:4-7, 11-12
We live in exile and we have forgotten where we came from. Without a past, without the story of broken people being made whole how can we hope for a future that we can’t see. For years I’ve thought it’s just baby steps and eventually I’ll get there. But why take baby steps when we can leap and twirl and run. How would we live life differently if we actually believed “I will hear you.” Not I will hear you sometimes, just, I will hear you. Period.