I’m going to go back to what I love during this Lenten Season…taking photos and highlighting the beauty in the everyday, the sacredness of all that is around us, and in doing so, finding God in his creation.
I’ll be using Diana Butler Bass’ Grounded: Forty Day Devotional as a guide. I hope you’ll join me on this 40 day journey back to Immanuel, God with us.
“If we do not know where we came from or where we are in a story, it is difficult to imagine that we can grasp the meaning and purpose of our own lives.” (Grounded, p. 142)
I remember hearing a story about a missionary to Africa. He read from the Bible to the particular tribe he was with, over and over, yet they never seemed to connect with its message. At some point, he began to read from Numbers. I know, all those begats, so incredibly boring! For those natives though, it was their aha moment; the stories they were being told finally made sense. It connected them with a shared history, a sense of family.
The stories we grew up with, those written upon our hearts, continue to shape us even now. Whether love stories laced with grace and compassion, stories filled with brokenness and negativity, or maybe a combination of all of those things. It’s up to us to determine the types of stories we write for those who come after us. The type of legacy we want to be remembered for. There will be stories we will need to sift through, in order to find the light in them, before they can be retold. Others will be so full of grace they will be easily passed along.
All of our stories are shared stories, connecting us to each other and to God, who is not above or beyond, but inexplicably woven into the tapestry around us.
“For long years I have kept this beauty within me,
It has been my life.
It is sacred.
I give it now that coming generations may know the truth
About my people.
I give it as the dew falls.
I give it as sacred pollen,
That there may increase a better understanding among all people.
My days have been long.
Whoever reads and loves and learns from these stories
Shall profit by them,
And their days shall be lengthened.
I give these in the spirit of generosity
Asking that no harm will come from the Powers
Who have given these stories to us.
May no harm come from them.
May they be accepted as an offering,
As the pollen,
As the dew.”
(Navajo Storyteller’s Prayer)