Listening to both kinds of stories and holding them all gently with intention—and hopefully a bit of grace—has transformed me because it’s made me realize that the right story is always the real story, God’s overarching story that love wins. Love has won, love is winning and love will win. Hope does not disappoint. Faith comes by hearing or listening to the right story, it’s true, and the story I look to for context for it all is the story of redemption and renewal, of restoration and hope, that rests only in Christ.
To me, the right stories are in the Word of God—Jesus—as revealed by Scripture, by the community and by the Holy Spirit, and He is a story of life and love and hope for us all, for all the boths and the ands and the neithers and the eithers. Paul wrote to the Corinthians that Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one.
The right story is the old, old story of heaven breaking through, of redemption arching, of justice rolling down, of deserts blooming flowers, of exiles planting gardens, of swords into ploughshares, of life instead of death.
The right story is the one to listen to because it’s the one that makes room for all of us. This is the story that holds all our stories with the promise of life and hope, joy and renewal.
I don’t want to be swallowed by the darkness. Nor do I want to be blinded by the light. No, I want to be part of a people who see the darkness, know it’s real, and then light a candle anyway. And hold that candle up in the winds and pass along our light wherever it’s needed from our own homes to the halls of legislation to the church pulpit to the kitchens of the world.
We’re a people who build bonfires outside on the shore and send up a few signals to light the way for the ships still coming across the water and the pioneers weary in the walking from the east. We set up tables in the wilderness and invite everyone to come. We’re the people who listen.
Faith comes by listening to the right story. It’s true. And the right story for me, the ones I turn toward when I’m tempted to choose one side or the other, is the Great Story that holds all of them as precious and worthy of love.
It’s the story that ends with these words: “And then all things were made right.”
Sarah Bessey is a wife, mama of three tinies, a writer, popular blogger, and a happy-clappy Jesus lover. She lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia. Her first book, Jesus Feminist (Howard Books), has just been released.