Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What's Your Story?

Perspective changes things.

When I was in seminary, people would talk about their stories, their life and experiences. It was just the word people used. I liked to hear and read about peoples stories and what makes them tick, and I still do. (That must be why I like to read blogs.)

Shortly after graduating from seminary I had a brief stint as a mental health case manager. On my first afternoon I was meeting with a client in a hospital setting. I was supposed to be with another case worker (I was brand new and I was supposed to be shadowing her) but she left and I was on my own with someone I was warned was a tough guy with serious issues.

As we sat across the table from one another, I wasn't afraid of him. (The woman pacing back and forth ranting because someone had changed the TV station away from Judge Judy, yes...the big tough guy across from me, not so much.) I was filled with compassion and part of my job was to talk, so I said, "Tell me your story."

What I meant was, "Tell me about yourself." What he heard was, "You're going to lie to me." His response was, of course, "I'm telling you the truth." Whoops...perspective and life experience loaded that word story with so much meaning.

I had totally forgotten about this story until I was reading about what the word faith might mean to someone who doesn't have faith in God. Faith might sound illogical if you don't view faith as trust in God. I think trusting God is perfectly rational as I have seen God work in my life and in the lives of others. I believe in God because of what I know to be true.

How many other things do we look at through different lenses because of our experiences and knowledge? How often could we avoid our own pain and avoid hurting others if we remember that we all see things from a slightly different point of view.


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