I saw a sign that said this, “the keeper of stories…” It makes me think deeply about the stories I keep, both mine and others. And what does it mean to hold a story?
I believe this tremendous honor has something to do with the body of Christ, the family of God. Where friendship, fellowship and relationships are often birthed. Out of tragedy and great joy they are held in tender sympathy. It involves being wrapped in the security of trust, hope and unconditional love. This casts Jesus’ light on the great beauty from the ashes of despair and pain. Where grace is revealed because of Christ in us (goodness) and joy emerges in the midst of the most hopeless of circumstances.
Who are these story keepers? It is a precious heart treasure, to know the answer to this question.
The greatest of story keepers is the author and finisher of my story. Though He writes on my soul, my choices are still mine and must keep Him busy. You see, He promises no matter what we do or experience, He will use it for our good. When we spill the ink bottle all over the beautifully, elegant handwritten page, He will blot the ink away and write around it, over it and through it. The remnants of that ink spill will always be there, as a part of our story. The one He keeps so tenderly. But He still makes something, worth keeping, of the stained pages. When this world damages the pages and my tears cause them to wrinkle, ink running off the page, He presses in and rewrites the words that need to be there. The page may read a bit differently now, but the story is more beautiful then before. There is not one place we can go He is not already there, pen and ink in hand, lovingly awaiting our arrival, ready to artfully stroke His ink on the pages of that moment.
God sent His Son, Jesus, to our hearts. Jesus knows, truly knows, the plight of humanity. He is a story keeper too. God sent Him to save humanity from the ink spills. He personally, experienced what humanity does to the pages of its own. Though His story was always perfect, meaning, He never spilt ink all over the white pages of His soul. He did, however, experience the tearing of pages, the marking, the abusing and the ripping of His beautiful pages. And, yes, His precious tears caused the ink of His great story, to run, as ours often do. But you see, that ink, is the ink our stories are now written with. His ink now saturates and runs abundantly across our pages. His ink causes our stories to be made perfect in His Father’s eyes. Pristine, white pages, ready for Him to write upon. No blots, not stains. God sees our stories through the lense of His Son’s sacrificial ink.
Jesus had to go back to His Father when His great story here was accomplished. God, in His wisdom, knew we’d need to have tangible story keepers here on earth. So, He wrote their parts into our lives. He caused His saints to cross pathes and meet each other. I believe He may have even said, “this is good.”
I have met story keepers here. It is never an accident, that our pathes cross. In fact, I believe each one has been a miracle from God’s own hands. It is comforting to know they, have heard the depths of my heart, seen the darkest of corners, glimpsed my tears and held me when the story was just silent ink dripping everywhere. And… they still love me, no conditions, no expectations and no shock at my tear mottled, ink blotted pages. My story keepers are my beloved friends, family of God and great treasures. I am accepted, in spite of the way humanity expects me to act with pages such as these.
But, to be a story keeper, now that is a privilege indeed. To be trusted with another’s ink stains and crushed pages, that is an honor worth living for. As others have carefully held my story in arms of honesty and grace, so, I too hope to be as faithfully comforting them. May God grow me in the experiences of my own story, so that I might gather strength in the compassion and the love to share their burdened pages.