Encouragement for the journey.
Greetings fellow travellers!
Since Mark and I moved to Northcote we have become empty nesters, and I have noticed how when our children do gather at our house for a meal, we like to tell each other stories of our journeys together. We like to remember places we’ve been or funny things we have done and as we tell the stories we reconnect and strengthen the bonds between us. We’ve had to be mindful to tell stories that also include Jessi’s husband so that he feels a sense of belonging in our family.
Over the last few weeks at St. Aidan’s, we’ve also had a family story telling theme – looking at the big picture of our history and all the hats required, and looking at the story of St. Aidan and our own faith family tree. The stories we tell each other have a deeper meaning than they may seem on the surface. Our stories can be liberating or limiting, they can be inclusive or exclusive, they can be wounding or they can offer healing. There are times when we can get stuck in our own story, or we can become so identified with something that happened to us that we allow that to define who we are and what we might become. When we tell our family stories we are enjoying the memories we have created together, and we are also looking forward to making more. This has got harder since everyone has left home and we are less often together. Hearing the stories of what my children are doing without me lets me see into their lives, but does not give me an opportunity to feel included in the retelling.
It is only when we do things together that we grow a sense of belonging and of community – of family. It’s only in being together that we are able to overcome the isolation of my story and see how our story is unfolding. What we will become grows out of how we tell the story of what we are now and how we perceive God’s Spirit at work in the things we do as church and as individuals.
So what kind of stories are we telling about our life and as the community of St. Aidan’s? Sometimes to find the mysterious element of the Spirit in our story is a challenge. It can be difficult to find the liberating element in a story of pain or failure. Sometimes the challenge is to find the learning edge in the story of exclusion, or the healing moment in a story of brokenness. Are we telling the stories of our life with an eye on the Spirit at work?
And what are the memories we want to share or revisit, remember and delight in? What are the memories we want to make together?
May we keep an eye open for the Spirit’s perspective in our stories and in our story telling, in our time together and apart.
Blessings and peace,