God, we thank You that the dark times in our lives are a living testimony to Your love, grace, and deliverance. Give us the faith to share the whole story of the ways that You have saved us. Like Moses, who not only spoke of his great triumphs but also of his miserable failures. Lead us by Your Spirit to those who need to hear, and as You did with Moses, who was so often afraid to speak, give us the words. Amen.
An uncovered pie. What is underneath? Well, until one takes off the covering, you can’t know the sweetness that is there. Today is Pi(e) Day and it has been Pi all day for us – started with Pi pancakes this morning with the kids and then moved to a Pi(e) Day celebration at the church my wife serves. They brought in several folks to come and share about the neighborhood and the ways they have partnered with others to make a significant difference in the local community. And there was LOTS of pie too. But as I ate, I was struck by the wonderful stories that were shared – stories of a community health and wellness event, of a community garden at a local school, of two young men seeking to help kids read more through rap, and of a brewery seeking to not only make great beer but support and strengthen a local community. It was wonderful to celebrate this time and to hear the stories as we ate lots of Pi(e). But without the Pi(e) today, I would not have known most of those stories. I knew the people who shared, but not all the stories beneath the surface.
Today’s reading from “A Place at the Table” reflects upon Moses telling the story of God’s working to his father-in-law Jethro. Seay moves from there to our stories and asks several key questions. First, do we know our own stories of faith? Not just travelogues of churches we have joined, but the stories of how we have come to know God in our lives in a personal way. When were the times that we felt most connected to God or most distant from God? What were key moments of the intersections of faith and life? How have we changed through the years? But once we know and understand our stories, do we share them with others? Do we ask others about their stories? Are we willing to open up and share our own?
Few things bless me more than hearing the testimony of others – it doesn’t have to be some dramatic Damascus Road experience, but can just be steps along the path that one has followed through their lives. Every story is extraordinary because they are each stories of people created in the image of God. But unless we are willing to take the cover off the pie, so to speak (as we see in today’s picture), can we let others know what is within?
Thinking further in the context of the theme of Seay’s book…too often I know that I think of ministry to the poor of “me helping those who are ‘less fortunate.’” But do I take the time to stop to get to know those who would be considered “the poor?” Do I take time to build relationships and understand how they have come to their current place in life? Stories are important. Everyone’s story is important. What is your story?