Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Peculiar God Story

I gathered with both high school students and their parents for a Parent Night last night, spending more time with the community I'll begin shepherding in the months to come. One particular moment in the night deeply moved me: each Tuesday gathering, a senior will tell their story to the group, sharing what God has been doing in their lives. The young woman's story last night was especially compelling. Nervous, she nonetheless shared her story with grace and confidence, a raw authenticity about her faith in the God who--in her words--chased after her and made her clean.

In her words. This is what made the story so compelling. She didn't offer a formulaic testimony or share a few verses she liked; she articulated a peculiar God story. "Peculiar," in that it was unique to her own circumstance and experience--this was her story--yet clearly a story we could all empathize with. I'll admit, I was moved to tears. Great stories can do that.

This is a practice I will gladly continue as the high school pastor. Senior students have signed up months in advance to share their own peculiar stories with their community of peers. It's inspiring for the larger group to hear one of their own share their faith, but I think the experience is even more transformative for the story-teller.

I was affected, encouraged, inspired. Yet for this young woman, last night was a vital step in her journey of faith. Her peculiar God story moved me; it transformed her.

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