Sunday, February 17, 2008


"the role of stories: we live our lives by stories we tell about ourselves and that others tell about us. these stories actually shape reality in that they construct and constitute what we see, feel, and do." -- gerald corey

i love stories. about almost anything. especially if they are about people. getting to sit down and hear someone's story, what their life has been like, what their dreams are ... mmm. makes me happy. we've been having a dialog group once a month for the past 4 (or so) months, with both romanians and americans. one of my teammates is working on a long-distance degree in human development so is reading and encountering all sorts of interesting information. he's wanted to take this information and create dialog (with both americans and romanians .. especially those who work with and among the poor), and last week we talked about stories. not only personal stories, but also cultural stories. national stories.

for instance, there is the 'american dream' and talk about equality, independence, freedom. these are ideals and therefore aren't always practiced, but they are some examples of how americans seen themselves .. and how others see them too. this is a relatively positive national story. other nations might have a more negative story. take romania, for instance .. where corruption & submission to someone more powerful have been and still are part of the story, in many ways. (one is too positive and the other is too negative. both forms of pride, in their own ways. neither country is perfect or realistic.)

if i view my nation and culture a certain way, the way i view myself is also affected. and probably i fit into that story, one way or another. what would it mean to change the story? to believe that i could be someone who doesn't need to seek money and security first of all (vs. the american dream)? or to believe that i could be a person who loves others and doesn't always choose my own interests over the interests of another? it seems like believing the story can have a different ending (or even a different middle) takes hope. is a way to hope .. rewriting the story and aiming for change is a tangible way to counteract the lies we are told.

and clearly, i think the best way to change the story is to make it more like the Story. the Story that has a good God, and a Son who chose to come to earth as a frail human to save humans from their sinful selves, and grace and forgiveness that don't make sense, and a cross and an empty tomb, and the sun coming up tomorrow. how much do we actually believe the Story that we are told in the Letter from our Father? how far we all have to go .. and yet, there is somehow enough grace to fill the space from here to Home.

1 comment:

SHiNE said...

cool to know sisters experience the same things around the world! thank God for the right to stand up and be heard in the US. thank God for simplicity that directs my eyes back to Him here. and, above all, thank Him for the cross and the hope that follows.