Story is invitation


I recently got a text message from a friend whose family is journeying together through STORY catechism. I shared the message that evening with our family during our family worship. It was a blessing to listen to our boys excitement as they discover other families and friends on the same pilgrimage as our family. 

A few days after, at soccer practice, my wife and I ran into the wife of my friend who sent the text message. We chatted about how the text was a beautiful gift for our family. She described how bedtime is the best rhythm for them in this season of life to journey together in family worship. She described that once the conversation begins, the flood gates of questions open up. The invitation of the grand story of God opens up their hearts and minds; their wild, untamed imaginations match the wild, untamed story they've been invited into. She went on to explain that every night, they have to cut off the questions and conversation because they just keep coming.

As parents we need to learn how to have conversation that invites our children's beautifully wild hearts and minds into the wild untamed story of God. Our family has discovered the beautiful depth and invitation of story.

Story possesses invitation, a way forward that invites pilgrimage into the complexity. A path that leads into more questions and life-giving conversation, not just short, pithy rhetoric that fits on a t-shirt or a bumper sticker. It's beyond maxims and anecdotes, beyond trite sayings and easy pat answers. Formulas and clichés cannot arrest the affections of the heart. The way forward is through invitation. Story invites us, beckons us, and woos us. It's the language of the heart and an interpreter of the soul. Story, the recounting of a sequence of events, has been a formative way of understanding and learning throughout history. Story has a way of revealing to the human soul something deeper than information, something more than knowledge. Story has a way of creating a bridge between the soul and the mind; a way of creating passage between the turbulent waters and the places of refuge, a passage between the brokenness of the human experience and the fullness of being human. Story creates sanctuary. 

I have two sons, ages 7 and 9, their imaginations are wild and beautiful.

I have experienced the unforeseen gift in that perhaps it is they who invite me deeper into the wild and untamed story of God.