For years it was on my bookshelf.
I knew where it was and could pick it out.
The cover was tattered and page after page highlighted.
The book was The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim.
It was a book about the power of stories and how stories convey meaning.
Bettelheim focused primarily on what we call fairy tales.
But, for me, it changed how I read and understood the Bible.
I could, now, let the stories be stories.
I have no idea what happened to that book.
It is no longer where it had been for so long.
But something that was said this morning made me remember it and I scribbled this note.
What stories shape your life?
What stories provide the foundation for who you are and how you think and how you see the world around you and how you envision the future? What stories provide the framework for how you should act? How we should act? And, how we should live with and treat one another? What stories provide the hope you hang onto when so much around you seems to crumble and fail?
For me, some of those stories are ones I find in the Bible.
Jesus feeding the hungry.
Jesus healing the broken.
Stones carried across the river and left in a pile for others to see.
Some are ones I learned along the way.
The child who offered me a cookie and I was too distracted to realize what she was offering.
The meaning of gratitude from a family who had almost nothing.
The importance of seeing another calling them by their name from a man who lived in a cardboard box.
Those stories, and more, shape who I am and what I value.
What stories do you tell?
About who you are?
About who we are?
About how tomorrow might be? Should be?
What stories do you tell about what is yours?
And what is mine?
And what is ours?