A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Telling the Story

Posted on: June 24, 2013

I confess: I’m starting to like country music.

My husband and I have watched the past two seasons of The Voice together. This season, all the members of Blake Shelton’s team were country singers. I surprised my husband—and myself—by singing along with the songs I knew from years of hearing country music when I was growing up. And some of the songs I hadn’t known before began to stick in my head.

I think it’s because, as Blake Shelton pointed out, country music is about storytelling. And that’s something we can all relate to. We pass down our family and cultural traditions and memories in stories shared through words and photos.

Jesus was a skilled storyteller. Using images his listeners could relate to, he shared with them the good news about the kingdom of heaven. Think of stories such as these:

  • The Parable of the Sower (see Matthew 13:1-23): Jesus described how people respond to the word of the Lord.
  • The Parable of the Wise and the Foolish Maidens (see Matthew 25:1-13): Jesus showed us we need to keep watch since we don’t know when the kingdom of heaven will come.
  • The Parable of the Rich Fool (see Luke 12:13-21): Jesus told us we need to be good stewards of the resources God has given us.
  • The Parable of the Prodigal and His Brother (see Luke 15:11-32): Jesus explained that he had come to save the lost, which would lead to great joy in heaven.

Our parish priest pointed out in his homily yesterday that our stories are valuable too. We may not have a dramatic story to share of our conversion to Christianity or our journey (back) to the Catholic Church, but we still have a story to share about why we are Christians. Why we hold the beliefs we do. Why we trust in God and worship him. Why we hold onto our faith in the face of suffering and disappointment when some people might see these times as proof of God’s absence—and why we hold onto our faith when things are going well and some might think we don’t need God.

And so I could share how God has been with me when I was laid off from my job, when the last of my grandparents passed away, and when my friend lost her battle with breast cancer, and how he has been with me when I got through parenting challenges, when my family settled in after our cross-province move, when my father recovered well from brain surgery.

But if we aren’t asked to share our stories, we can still witness to our faith through our involvement in the church and the wider community, our commitment to hard work and integrity on the job, our dedication to raising our children to have good character, our stewardship of the resources entrusted to us. The way that we live as members of the Body of Christ, serving as the hands and feet of Jesus, can speak volumes.

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1 Response to "Telling the Story"

Excellent insight! God bless!

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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