[bl]T[/bl]he books in our home tell our story. The words we’ve read, the pages we’ve flipped and turned down and noted – they speak to us, about us. If you didn’t know our family, you would learn about choices we’ve made, intentional lifestyles, places we’ve been, people we love, habits and interests – just by glancing through our bookshelves. The books tell our story because either we’ve purchased books to reinforce already adopted ideas, or the books we find ourselves reading introduce new values that eventually become apart of who we are.
These books, they tell where we’ve journeyed.
The vibrant kindred spirit of Anne placed beside a photo of our wedding, a reminder of our honeymoon spent on her island. (Notice how Dickens’ Great Expectations stands beyond the wedding and honeymoon. Not planned, but quite appropriate considering it was great expectations that we wrestled with in our early years of marriage.)
These books, they speak about places we’d like to visit one day.
They rest on our nightstand so together we can travel to those lands while cozy in our bed.
Then there are books that help us anticipate our big changes.
And the ones we buy just so we see the word that’s already etched in our hearts: Africa
Here’s a stack just for Mark. Words and stories he read before me, before us.
And my stack. The stories I get lost in when I need to escape my own for a bit.
The journals we’ve written, poured our hearts into, scribbled our fears and sketched our dreams.
The ones by authors we respect, who walk before us in ways of faith and living.
And these….the titles, the animal print covers, the place they tell about. Only a dear friend would see them and know they were meant for me.
This picture of team on top of these books. Intentional.
Words tell stories. And stories reveal who people are.
And so it is with Jesus. The Word that literally became flesh.
The Word that tells stories and reveals the Father. The Word, full of grace and truth.
Of all the books I’ve held, of the stories written, of the words I’ve read, His will always be my favorite. The story of God that has transcended time and cultures. The story that is living and breathing still today because it dwells within us.
His words become our words. His story becomes our story.
We all have a story. Whether you think yours is a good one, or bad one. Fair, or unjust. Sad, or embarrassingly joyful — it’s a story able to bring God glory. It’s not what kind of story you have, it’s what you do with it, how you use it.
How are your words telling the story of Jesus? How is your story — the way you live, the choices you make, the places you go, the people you receive — how is it telling the bigger story, the story that binds all of our stories together as one?
For it is through us — you and me– that the gospel story of Jesus is spoken and lived. It’s through us that his message heals and restores, feeds and quenches. It’s through us that his words bring new life. It’s through us — through our words, through our stories.
May our words be full of grace and truth. Be the living Gospel and let your words and story point to the author and perfecter of your faith.
#188 The books that led us through the Ancient world this year
#189 The books that speak to our stomachs.
#190 The books that help us create our space
#191 The books we read as children, now read by our children
#195 The life story of a river