Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sharing Stories

“Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?’” (John 4:28-29, NIV 1984).

I recently was able to attend the 2012 CMDA National Convention. If you have never been, you’ve missed great worship, great workshops, great missions and great Bible teaching. But the greatest blessing this year for me was to spend time with a number of Christian doctors I have known for many years. I sat with a number of them, one on one; we shared our stories and prayed for each other. Some stories were very hard and some were quite beautiful. We shared with laughter and we shared with tears and through it all I felt the presence of Christ.

All of us are created as storytellers. Few of us are actually good storytellers, the kind a crowd would gather around, but all of us are fashioned with a little bit of Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner in us---we need someone to hear our story.

Psychologically this is a good thing. Telling our own tale allows an emotional catharsis, helps us think through our lives more objectively, brings comfort from the listener and allows advice to enter and correct some of our errant ways.

ut more importantly, I suspect that God built us as storytellers so that His story may be told. Deeply imbedded in each of our personal adventures is His great story of redemption. When I, as a Christian, share my joys and sorrows with someone else, the Christ who lives in me has an opening to show Himself and to speak, both to me and to the one with whom I am speaking. If I keep my stories to myself, I keep the Jesus-who-would-be-heard bottled up inside.

Many of us doctors and doctors-to-be have few friends with whom we are willing to share the significant stories of our lives. We are too busy or too independent---and so we miss the chance to let Jesus out of the bottle. We miss sharing His truth with others---truth that can transform both believers and non-believers. We, ourselves, miss seeing Him in new ways. We miss the joy.

If you are as guilty as I am of keeping your stories to yourself, pledge with me to deliberately seek out one or two friends you can trust with your deep stories and start sharing. For their sake. For your sake. For Christ’s sake. For the joy of it.

Dear Father,
Give me the boldness to share my story with others so that you might be seen.

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