With Each New Story, I Fall in Love Again
I have been working as a freelance journalist for the local newspaper, picking up human interest stories here and there. But — and you knew there had to be a “but” coming — but, here’s the problem: I fall in love with each new story.
What’s the problem with falling in love? It’s exhausting, that’s why! And at my advanced age — advanced compared to a teenager, that is, who has more than enough energy to fuel falling in love daily — at my advanced age I have all I can handle just living my life. I need every bit of energy I have just to fuel my Running Regimen, recover from A Love Rejected, scamper after a Living in a down economy and contemplate the Meaning of Life in a world filled with skeptics on one hand and uncompromising, evangelical, cock-sure believers on the other.
It’s rough out there for us old ladies. And falling in love every time I turn around? Like I said, it’s exhausting.
But it feels so good.
It started with the very first story, when I attended the opening and dedication of the Tillman Arts Center in Morton. I spoke with the members of the Mason Lodge, who were sad to lose their building and leave behind a century of memories in stone and hand-cut woodwork, but happy to take such a vital role in the recovery and revitalization of the community of Morton.
And then I interviewed the owner of a local, small town art gallery. Her love and excitement, the force of her missional fervor for the artists and their work was infectious. I can’t drive by the gallery without pulling over to peek into their window and fall in love again and again with each new featured artist displayed.
And then my interviews on the mountaintop with three men of national, even international, fame and acclaim. I fell in love three times that day. Each story from each man held me spellbound. Their enthusiasm for the stories in their past was thrilling, but what was most compelling was their love and excitement for their lives today. For what they were doing right this minute. It was an attitude, a physically encompassing way of Being. It was an excitement, a fervent gleam in their eyes, a heart jarring love of life that pulled me in, held me enthralled and sent me floating in possibility.
I can still feel within me the energy, the commitment and the devotion that each had and have daily in the living of their lives. It’s thrilling. It’s exhausting. It’s a joy-filled love and excitement rolled into words simmering with the energy of Possibility.
I know, I KNOW, you’re exhausted just reading that overexcited frenzy of word-craft.
But there’s more, because then I spent the day with fisherman on opening day, and then a community of volunteers wearing 3 or 4 hats each working to keep each other fed and safe and cared for, and then a semi-retired professional motocross racer (I wanna dirt bike!) and tomorrow I’ll interview a goatherd with a passion for organic briar and bramble management.
Story after story, I fall in love. And we all love a good story, all of us. The love of story is just part of being human.
So I have to think, why wouldn’t God use story to help us to fall in love with Him? Of course he would use story! Every kind of story imaginable is in the bible: love, war, greed, murder, sex, and on and on. (And hey, and I’ll give you a hint at the ending: the good guy wins.)
God loves story. I think that’s why he created us, for story.
And so I ask you to listen to the stories around you. Just be quiet for a while and really listen to the stories of the people in your life. Ask a question here and there, but really listen to what their stories tell you about them, about you, about all of us.
Just listen. You’ll fall in love.