You can argue with an arguer, fight a fighter, and even kill a killer… but what do you do with a lover?
My apologies to the author of that insightful assertion. If I could remember who it was, I would not only give proper credit, I would ask if s/he minded if I added, “What do you do with a storyteller?”
As the election draws near, the political process is becoming more caustic, filled with arguers, fighters, and even killers. As religious factions continue to harden their hearts toward each other, the God of Love seems to get lost in heated arguments. And as people of different races enter into a renewed tension, our American melting pot seems to be moving toward a boiling pot.
What would happen if we put a moratorium on argumentation and personal attacks in our public discourse and told only stories?
Stories can touch our hearts
To me, the strength of From the Heart: A Catholic Blog for Central Minnesota is in the stories. One that caught my eye as I was pondering this post was the story shared by Deacon Steve Yanish. He told of a dying woman:
Just before she breathed her last breath, her face lit up and practically glowed.
It reminded me of a 16 year old in a parish where I worked. She was dying of a lung disease. Those present at her death shared the story of how she sat up, looked at herself, particularly her arms, and said, “Isn’t it beautiful?” as if she were admiring a heavenly gown. She lay back and passed away.
I am also reminded of the last words of Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder and a man accustomed to some of the greatest wonders and beauty humans can create. He said, “Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow.”
Surely one could dispute the interpretation of the stories, or the existence of an afterlife, or a particular image of life after death… but these stories offer a chance to pause and ponder what comes next in our life’s journey instead of entering into a heated debate.
In our media driven culture, creating a story delivery system is easier than ever, and can reach more people than ever. To have our stories get heard amid the din of Internet chatter, we need to learn a tool or two, give ourselves permission and time to play and practice, and then share the stories that touch our hearts.
After all, Jesus told stories that still touch our hearts.
A tool to explore
One tool to explore is Adobe’s Spark Video, formerly called Adobe Voice. Sign up for a free account using your computer or the iPad/iPhone App, gather some photos, choose an adobe theme and maybe some background music, and tell a story. Or maybe start with a story and a prayer. Gather your friends or family, take some photos of preparing and eating your next meal, and tell the story of love around the table in photos as the Prayer Before Meals tell the story of gratitude. It would be one way to share faith and love, and who can argue with that?