A few weeks ago we had an assembly dealing with internet safety. The speaker was excellent, renowned in his field. He had a flashy presentation with funny and impacting videos. But, I could tell the students weren’t 100% engaged. Afterwards, I asked students what makes a good speaker? What do you remember? What makes one assembly “awesome” and another “mind numbingly boring.” One of my students offered a one line answer that resonated deeply with me. She said, “stories. I remember stories.”
It’s so simple. When we sit around a campfire and tell stories, we remember. Story runs so deeply through us that a piece of us comes alive when we hear a good one. We don’t forget it.
Lent is a time for storytelling.
Lent is often overlooked by the Evangelical church in Guatemala because it’s a “Catholic” thing. That’s a whole other issue. However, Joel and I decided to do a little bit of Lent storytelling with our Saturday group. We sat down around our campfire (ok, a picnic table) and started to talk about Jesus. The four women in his lineage don’t have the best of reputations. He was a racial, social, and political outcast. “Nothing good” came from his city. His birth was a bit scandalous, so to say.
I asked Joel to lead this because, well, he’s Joel. As he was leading the discussion, I saw kids come alive. After hearing these dirty details that we tend to ignore, one of our friends said, “I love these stories. This is fun.”
Only someone who understand suffering could hear painful, shameful stories and say, “This is fun.” And that’s the light we find in Lent. In Lent, we tell stories. We look back on pain so we can look forward with hope.
Suffering. Pain. “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” These stories of Lent resonate in hard places. The suffering of Jesus provides a glimpse of hope in the darkness of those suffering every day.
Enjoy the journey!