finding the story
every person is a walking story whose life is filled with subplots, characters, tragedy and even comedy. most of the time we get so caught up with the drama of our own lives that we ignore the stories of those around us. but part of how God connects people with the bigger story of who He is and how He loves us is through me and you—even if we’re reluctant to start up that conversation.
as few years ago, my story intersected with another person’s for about 15 minutes. i was waiting at the airport for a friend to arrive, killing some time reading. a woman sat down beside me. she seemed a little anxious, glancing at the clock on the wall and watching people walking by.
talk to her, God whispered to me.
“i don’t think so. i don’t know what to say.”
just start talking.
okay. “this is a great place to people watch.”
“yes, it is,” the lady sitting beside me on the bench responded. her tone of voice made it clear that was the end of the conversation.
after a few minutes of silence, i buried my head in my book. “that went well,” i thought sarcastically. (yes, i think sarcastically.) “happy, God? i’m done.”
talk to her.
“i did. God, if you want something to happen, then You’re going to have to do something . . . silence? good, now i can get back to my book. i’m a conversational idiot anyway. i lack a small-talk gene. You’ll just have to use someone else.”
“i like the title of your book,” she said.
“You actually answered that prayer, God?”
what happened next was simply a conversation. not a planned script, or a sales pitch for Christianity. i listened to her tell her story about interviewing for a job there at the airport and why she needed it. i heard her talk about her kids and the guy she lived with and her uncertainty about whether they should get married. i heard her story, and when appropriate, i shared mine. i also let her know about the bigger story—the story of a God who loves and provides for her. who wants the best for her and her kids. i let her know that not in a preachy or judgmental way, but just in a conversation. i prayed with her about her interview and then i had to leave.
that was it. i don’t know what happened after that, but i do know this—for a few minutes on a crazy day in her life, that woman got a glimpse of a story bigger than she was, and of a God who is bigger than all her challenges. not because i was so clever, but because God cared enough about her to pester me to say something.
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