God is active in every story, and as such, He is often the invisible Character. Part of being a follower of Christ is becoming more and more acutely aware that God is a part of every aspect of our lives. That God is moving, crafting us, showing us grace and mercy; that God is with us in joy and sorrows, in victories and defeats.
People may doubt the claims of the Gospel, but the one thing they can’t doubt and can’t deny is its affects on your life. That’s why your story is so important. Your story is your sharing of your faith. I have known many folks who carry a heavy burden around their understanding of sharing the Gospel with others. They have been taught that the Gospel is a set of words that describe what Jesus did for us, and how God views us. They have been taught that the Gospel is a solution, primarily to the problem of an angry God and a damnation effect. I categorically reject this idea. And I come back once again to God – the invisible source Love Character in all of our stories.
I think a Christian spirituality that allows us to discover God in our stories and share God’s love as it is revealed in Christ creates a space for imperfect, grace-filled living which God uses to free us from obligations like the typical notion of evangelism; because the sharing of our faith becomes the living of our story. Most folks know the saying attributed to St. Francis, “Preach the Gospel continuously, use words if you must.” I would augment it slightly and say, “Preach the Gospel continuously by living your life!”
If God really is in every story and every story really is a God story, then I think we can become people without coercive rhetoric or anxious didactic. We would no longer have to convince people of our perspectives, but simply allow our stories to invite people into the “everything” that is God’s presence. So the good news is actually that every story is God’s story! If we believed this, I wonder how that would affect the way we include others in our faith experience?
Here is a video we used in my community to help people recognise that their story is a God story.
It would be a mistake to hear in this writing the idea that we are to live perfectly, and that somehow if we just live “right” people would see God in our stories. Quite the opposite is true.
People get a glimpse of God, not in our moral perfection, rather in the way we embrace our failures, our sorrows, our hopes and our disappointments. The story of “Christ with us” is a story that reveals we are not alone, not abandoned – we are not forgotten – no matter what is transpiring in our lives! The God story is told through the inclusion of everything in our stories.
Are you able to recognise God in every facet of your story? I think God is.