Living a Good Story

December 1, 2010

I just finished reading the book by Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand years. It’s all about his process of making a movie about his life, and whether he is living a story worth telling. I couldn’t stop chuckling my way through the book, his dry humor kept me entertained in those sweet post-children’s bedtime-husband engaged in the new Assasin’s Creed game-just Cindy moments. He considers the various elements of our lives and whether they are ingredients for a good story. For example, in every good story, the protagonist suffers setback in order to advance his character, which then leads one to ponder whether we sometimes choose uncomfortable paths to live a good story.

With his words tumbling around inside my mind, I journeyed along with some of my friends’ roller coaster dramas in the past few weeks, meanwhile putting through my own humble, not-without-its-craziness, life, and saw some amazingly beautiful redemptive stories in the making.

My friends and heroes, Leslie & ZB, are on their way to adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. They’ve prayed, angst, celebrated, grieved, and moved forward on this journey of international adoption. Little Siri has yet to officially become a part of their family but their faithfulness in pursuing her is a beautiful picture of the way God pursues us – urgent, unconditional love.

Gloria and Brenda – two sisters’ stories intertwining in pursuit of a potential adoption of Ladybug – a cerebral palsy baby. Doctor’s visits, skype conferences, trips to the Children’s Home, and endless phone calls. The details are mundane, but underlying these small steps of faith are big hearts for orphans, for God’s calling, for hope. Theirs are the stories of a bond in family, so close-knit to do the impossible for each other, and yet stretches enough to include a little Ladybug.

Lizzy’s playmate in China, Adah Morris is fighting an aggressive form of leukemia in the most heroic way. Through all testing, treatment, and chemo, she continues unwaveringly in loving and caring for her sister, her friends in the hospital, her aunties from China, and friends all around the world. Even six year olds can live good stories!

Then I hear of my friend Dave, who has a PhD in neuro something or other, and yet not afraid to take a leap of faith and pursue a career in web design and application. Recent trophy = an iphone game approved! I am so inspired by the story he’s living and makes me want to walk with eyes on the prize and away from the fears and anxieties of life.

My friend Marissa – mother of three young boys. She’s busy loving on them and yet fulfilling her dream of becoming a published author (and well on her way!). I can’t imagine how she juggles in editing in between diaper changes, preparing toddler snacks and supporting her husband, all in the same 24 hour window that I have. Great story. Busy story.

On and on the list goes, and I feel so overwhelmed and privileged to be watching story after story of hope and redemption, to experience the joys and sorrows of each story the way I laugh and cry in my favorite books, and knowing deep in my soul, that each story is a signpost (oh yes, I’m an NT Wright groupie) towards the Kingdom of a good God.

How can anyone think life is boring?