Being a collector of stories, I get to document and publish some pretty wild tales. Readers tend to have an array of reactions, but the question I receive more than any other is, “Did that really happen?”
I used to be obsessed with this question myself. I might attempt some light fact checking or even, regrettably, shift from my listener’s chair to my investigative journalist’s–interjecting some follow up questions to see if this is really all “adding up.”
There’s a longer discussion here about competing realities and co-occurring truths, but quite honestly, what I’m starting to find is that the story always takes a back seat to its own essence. Sometimes, someone walks into my office and in two sentences, sucker punches me with a prophetic, crystal clear realization. Sometimes, someone walks in, stays for two hours, takes me on an epic odyssey of sex, drugs and rock and roll…and we land, exhausted but equally delighted right back at that same, two sentence, sucker punch truth.
The funny thing about the, “Did that really happen?” question is that, historically, it’s the same question I’ve asked after every interaction with the Bible. And that question kept me bound up. It took me out of the listener’s chair. It held me so focused on content, that I was blind to the essence.
I appreciate story now as the path to the point. I appreciate when stories are short and sweet. I love a good, drawn out, twist-and-turn taker. But no matter the plot, the genre or length, I love a story’s heart. I love finding it right along with the person telling it. And then watching as all that framework becomes perfectly irrelevant.
For more faces & stories from our Congregation, click here.