I tell stories.  Always.  It's one reason I write.  Who I am.

I tell stories not to one-up someone.  But to connect.  

Stories help me connect with people, connect ideas, & connect the thoughts in my mind.  My StrengthsFinder themes confirm it.  And, if you know me, then you confirm it too.

Let me tell two quick ones.

In a Tanzania gift shop I picked up a wonderful children's picture book, Hot Hippo.  I read the author's name aloud, Mwenye Hadithi, to which our missionary friend replied, "That's not his name."

"How do you know,?" I queried.

"Mwenye Hadithi means, 'the one who has stories,' in kiSwahili," she replied.

At that mention I had a new name.  My mission team mates proudly bestowed Mwenye Hadithi as my name for the remainder of the trip.  You see I'd told a few - or maybe a few dozen, but less than a few hundred, I think - stories about other Africa experiences to prepare & compare all along the way.  It's just me, Mwenye Haiditi, the story guy.

Sometime later during a Sunday evening sermon I extemporaneously exclaimed, "I've got a story for anything.  You give me a topic.  I'll tell you a story."

After the sermon a unique young lady approached me eyes alight & blurted out, "quantum physics."

"What?," I asked struggling to make a connection with anything I'd just preached sermon.  She was unique & made some, uh, interesting, yes that's a good word for it connections of thoughts at time. 

"Quantum physics," she repeated to my befuddledness.

"You've got a story about everything, how 'bout a story about quantum physics?" she offered with confidence.  

Searching my mind quickly I surrendered.

"You've got me.  I had no quantum physics story... until now.  You've given me a story about having no stories & a story about quantum physics.  Thank you." I redeemed the exchange.

Stories.  We've all got them.  We all love to hear a good one.  Some of us even cry.  Others hide it.

Your story has power.

Your story has a purpose.

I was reminded of this in a recent pastoral visit in which I was overwhelmed by the depth & tragedy of the story I was hearing.

Whether a follower of Jesus or not you can know that the God of this broad universe loves you more deeply than you can ever know.

He has a purpose for you.

He knows your story.

He does not love you in spite of it.

He loves you because of it.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one & only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 

We'd love to hear your story.  Post a comment below.