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Stories have the potential to heal.

In fact, stories are what give light to that desire we have to be happy. We want our lives to mean something. This desire for meaning is the originating impulse of a story.

Do you know why we tell stories?

We tell stories because we hope to find or create significant connections between things. I like what Dr. Daniel Taylor says about stories, “Stories link past, present, and future in a way that tells us where we have been (even before we were born), where we are, and where we could be going.”

Our stories teach us that there is a place for us; not only do we fit in, but we are needed.

Here is a simplified explanation of how stories heal: when we tell our story it is no longer just mine but it is ours. In enabling another to understand and have empathy, we move out of the sense of isolation the experience fostered and into community, a requirement for healing.

This past Sunday in church we read from 2 Kings and explored the story of Naaman. We touched based on all that went into the mighty warrior’s healing. From the nameless slave girl who spoke up when she wasn’t supposed to about the prophet who could help heal Naaman, to the muddy Jordan River that was unlike the other magnificent waters with which Naaman was more familiar. His reluctance and pride prevented him from the healing he needed—a healing that wealth and power couldn’t provide. Still, it was his own servants who had to convince him to enter into the healing narrative of God in the little river.

It took a hodgepodge of people to help heal Naaman. Healing didn’t happen until Naaman gave himself completely to the process. He also had to accept the help he probably wasn’t expecting from a group of unnamed people. Naaman in the end has a story to tell, one of healing.

At the end of my sermon I made a request…extended an invitation of sorts to you. I offered up two questions that I think can help us in telling our stories of healing.

• From what surprising place or person has your healing come?
• If you believe healing is given and not purchased, where are you being led to give healing today?

Finally, I asked if you all would be willing to share your stories with me. Some of you have already. I want to hear your stories; not to be nosey but to enter into your narrative and to see you tell your story of how you know healing!

Friends, your story is beautiful. Your story is needed to help heal a broken world. Your story is needed to reassure the rest of us that we not alone in this world. Rather, we have each other.

[Adam Quine of First Presbyterian Church in Lincoln]


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