Wednesday, March 01, 2006

It Became a God Story

As our team of eight traded stories and untold tales, I had an opportunity to share portions of mine. The birth of Sunshine After Rain Ministries, and the tears shed that God has long redeemed. I contemplated after the emotional evisceration, “how long is “he” going to be part of “my” story?” I felt like my whole life has been told as part of a man’s story: my father’s damage, my love’s scar, and the current vacancy, of “a” man.

This storytelling process is painful. As we’ve traded and shared, the humorous part of my keeps interjecting “Chapter 5: Foods We Miss” “Chapter 7: Worst Toilets in the World” “Chapter 10: Gross Physical Maladies – including Boils and Blisters”. We laugh and process and joke, but the underlying truth is the “Chapter” sideline; it is not the book of our life.

The movie “The End of the Spear” has been a topic on more than one occasion. The account of the five martyred missionaries in Ecuador, marked the 50th anniversary this year.

Each of us had additions we had heard to the story in our own geographic locations. I shared seeing one of the missionaries sons, speak in Seattle. Another shared additional information found in the book account of the story.

And that’s just it, here’s what I saw in the telling of my story, alongside the telling of one 50 years old. At the right and appointed time, comes the realization “it is a God story”.

I'm sure each of the men had their own “chapters" to add to make them laugh, to recount the tears, to enable and equip them for the story God would tell through their very short lives. Their widows and now 50 years later, their grown children and grandchildren, have their “chapters” and additions. Each person over the last 50 years who has heard the account has something to add to the size of the adventure. And soon through the millions of voices added to the chorus of the tale, it is easier to see it is not a missionaries story, or even a martyrs. It is a God story, because it is God-sized.

Now, admittedly – their life, work and death have received a great deal more retelling than mine – but mine is no smaller or lesser of a God story. Both are written by the same author.

Chapter Forty-Six: Waiting and Watching in Africa