July 21, 2011

“You mean you don’t know any of our guys, go make some friends man, introduce yourself, go on, I’ll handle this”
In my two months at Christ’s Body I have never told a volunteer to stop what they’re doing and go talk to the guys but today I felt I needed to. He was young, going into his freshmen year of High School and he’d been in to help us on numerous occasions, working in places where it’s hard not to get to know our guys. Sure he could point out the guys on the shower list, tell me their names but if I asked him to tell me something about that he couldn’t. So I felt the need to send him out to talk to some of our regulars and took over the shower duty that I was training him to do.

I’ve been learning and talking a lot lately about stories this summer, I’ve always loved hearing others stories as well as sharing my own but this summer I’ve learned the value of stories and the value of the people in our stories. I’ve learned that we all gain some kind of wisdom and knowledge that we can give to those younger than us and that God is always working in our stories to teach, guide, nurture and love us. But I’ve learned something else too that I’ve probably already known but didn’t give much thought to, that is that our stories intertwine.

Our stories weave in and out of each other, run right with another persons and sometimes go completely separate directions. We step in and out of each others stories everyday, creating great memories and building strong relationships. In a week I am going to step out the stories of my Christ Body and homeless friends as well as the stories of the men and woman who I have lived, gone to class and grown with over the past two months. Our stories have intertwined and now we will have memories to tell much later and if we have a reunion they will intertwine again.

While it’s true that these intertwining stories are only short we will forever be a part of that person’s story. Long after I leave Sterling College those people like *Carrie (See “Illumination” July 17, 2011) who have been a part of my story there will continue to be a part of my story through memories. If you’re reading this now our stories are intertwining!

When are stories intertwine we discover pain, we learn about each other, we can be fake or like I said last time we can be real! I believe it is the times when we are real that people will remember and those will be the best memories of our intertwining story lines. The times when the laughter was genuine, or the times when the tears flowed uncontrollably. The times we were together in happiness and pain, the best times and the hard times, the times when there were no walls, just raw us!

I will never forget guys like *Kevin, a homeless man who’s questions made me think about my stereotypes about the homeless, or *Mike or *Joe or any of the guys I have met and spent time with this summer both at Christ’s Body and Joshua Station. We will forever be a part of each others stories, so will my high school friends, my state choir friends, my college friends and especially my family.

So how does your story intertwine with others? is it long term like a good friendship or marriage or is it short term like this summer has been? What are your best memories and how do you live out your story! I pray that the people you encounter will push you, encourage you, love you, give you grace and help mold you and that you will be real and genuine when you’re around them. So let’s take down the walls and intertwine in a way that impacts each other and leaves lasting tattoos the hearts of the one’s we touch with our real love!

Jon Faulkner
10:31 Ministries