Tell me a story

Everybody loves a good story. Stories are an age-long form of putting our children to sleep, entertainment, history gathering, and passing on ideas to other people. I love to tell stories to others. A story can be told anywhere, at church, with family or friends, or in the workplace.

Some of my most fond memories as a little girl were with my Grandpa. I would crawl up onto his lap, lean into his soft belly, and put my head on his chest. Once I was comfy, and his arms would be around me, I would say ”tell me a story.” He always began his stories with ‘Once upon a time, a long, long time ago’. That captured my attention right off the bat. Grandpa told his stories slowly so that I could take it all in and visualize the detail he added. He told me stories about a Big Black Dog. I don’t even think the dog had a name, but his adventures were endless and always had a positive spin to them. That Big Black Dog was funny, protective, loyal, and smart. All of these characteristics exhibit ones that a good human would possess.

While listening to Grandpa’s stories about the Big Black Dog and his antics, I became so warmly comfortable and got into such a trance-like state with his rubbing my back that I rarely heard the end of the stories! Sleep would overcome me and I wouldn’t know it until afterward when I woke up, often wondering what happened to the Big Black Dog.

This went on for years. Even as a teenager, I would lean in close to him and he would start ‘Once upon a time, a long long time ago’. Such comfort, such peace would enfold me as my Grandpa’s voice would be low enough for just the two of us to hear, and he would rub my back. The stories of The Big Black Dog were formative in my life; they were instructions in gentleness, faithfulness, empathy, and unconditional love. I was filled with the goodness of The Big Black Dog. His compassion toward others was obvious as he willingly and excitedly provided acts of kindness for them. He was happy to fetch the slippers or the paper for his Master, expecting nothing in return except his acceptance. He would excitedly, with tail wagging, anticipate when the Master had hidden treats for him in his pockets. That dog seemed to know when the treats would be lavished upon him, just for being himself. The treats weren’t as a ‘payment’ for anything in particular he did, they were given just because of who he was. ‘Tell me that story again!” And the story never ended.

I remember when my Grandpa went to Heaven. He had come to the wedding the day my first husband and I got married. However, when we were on our honeymoon, my Grandpa had a stroke and left this world and went on to eternity with his own Master. That was before cell phones, so I didn’t know until we got back home. The story never ended, it just took on another form and another place, just like Grandpa. I wept, not only because Grandpa went on to Eternity, but because there was never an ending, or closure, to the stories of the Big Black Dog. Only in my later years did I discover that I never heard the end of the story, because it resides now in a World Without End.

Jesus always spoke to his friends in simple stories, or parables, that he used as illustrations of a moral or spiritual truth that helped them become transformed into followers of Christ. He taught them about the rich young ruler, the prodigal son, the sower, the mustard seed, and many other ones. He told those stories whenever, and wherever, people were around. They were told over and over again, slowly and with intent to share the truths with others.

I can only imagine Jesus being at his friend’s house, Mary and Martha and Lazarus; and as they were gathered together, Mary sat on the floor beside him and leaned into him and was comforted by his warmth and was attentive as He shared stories. She didn’t care about anything else that was going on, just listening to her friend as he talked very casually, but with intent, to leave them with a little bit of instruction and truth that would be woven into who the listeners became. The stories were always simple but told in such a way that those listeners could relate to them. The stories left them thinking about their own lives and keep coming back to them as they grew and faced circumstances that were similar to the lessons in the stories.

The stories had no end. There were always more parables to be told by the One who has no beginning and no end. The Alpha and the Omega.

The stories continue today. We are called to tell our children and our grandchildren stories about when they were little, or parables that would leave them with one thought that will stick with them forever. We heard stories about our fathers going to school in the snow, uphill both ways, for 14 miles; and we will share those stories that are filled with humor, truths, and little pearls of wisdom.

We are called to tell our children and grandchildren the stories that Jesus first told his followers. We are called to pass on stories that taught us a lesson. We are called to tell our very own personal stories to others. Those people, at some point, may be able to relate to our lessons for similar situations of their own. It is the responsibility of all of us to share the Greatest Story Ever Told; and that is the story of who Jesus is and of his love that is offered up for everybody.

What is your story? Are you able to share it with others so that they, too, may know the joy, peace, love, grace, and forgiveness that is right there for the taking? Do those that you come in contact with today know that Jesus loves them and is there with unconditional love for them, too? Let us all take a step of faith and start a conversation with them. They have a story to share with you, too; or may need some help with their stories. Encourage them to lean in close, feel the warmth of His embrace, and discover that He can be a part of them, too. Why don’t you share your story with us, we’d love to hear it!

I’m humming the tune ‘I Love To Tell the Story’, a hymn that I learned as a child.

I love to tell the story 
of unseen things above,
of Jesus and his glory, 
of Jesus and his love.
I love to tell the story 
because I know ’tis true;
it satisfies my longings 
as nothing else could do.

Refrain:
I love to tell the story; 
’twill be my theme in glory
to tell the old, old story 
of Jesus and his love.

I love to tell the story; 
more wonderful it seems
than all the golden fancies 
of all our golden dreams.
I love to tell the story, 
it did so much for me;
and that is just the reason 
I tell it now to thee. 

I love to tell the story; 
’tis pleasant to repeat
what seems, each time I tell it, 
more wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story, 
for some have never heard
the message of salvation 
from God’s own holy Word. [Refrain]

I love to tell the story, 
for those who know it best
seem hungering and thirsting 
to hear it like the rest.
And when in scenes of glory 
I sing the new, new song,
’twill be the old, old story
that I have loved so long. [Refrain]

Be blessed to be a blessing –

Candy

Published by Candy Morgans

Being recently retired from the Healthcare Industry, and the spouse of a retired Methodist Minister, I find some time on my hands, and a strong desire to share experiences and develop relationships with others. God is my driving force, and I have humor and joy in my heart.

One thought on “Tell me a story

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