The more I read my student’s memoirs, the more I realize that we all have stories to tell and that stories are what make the world go around. Their stories are equally joyful and tragic. I thought about all the writing that I have done, all the preaching I have done, all the teaching I have done, and I realized that it is all one big story. In all of my jobs, I am a storyteller. Whether it is a biblical story or an academic story or a personal story, I just keep telling them. And, conversely, I am just part of a story.
I hope one day I wake up to to learn that I have been living in a big hard-cover picture book whose pages are slowly being turned by the Mother/Father God, telling a story to [Their] children. I am in the story with the prodigal daughter. I can stand next to the woman who washed Jesus feet. I can watch as Saul holds the coats of the Jews as they stone Stephen, but then I can turn around and watch as he is beaten and imprisoned. I can glean with Ruth and Naomi. I am all the stories I have been told, because there is nothing new under the sun, and the rain falls on the just and the unjust. I am only stepping into the middle of a story already unfolding around me. I come into the picture on page 1974, and I hope I bring grace and mercy and love and compassion. I hope I don’t bring anything but those good things. When I leave, the story won’t end. The story will only go on.