From My Bookshelf – Day 40

Please consider one idea that I believe to be terrifically important but commonly overlooked: People will not move as far as they could on their journey into God’s presence or experience the power of the Spirit as fully as they could without telling their story to another person. 

No lie is more often believed than the lie that we can know God without someone else knowing us. Keeping secrets is lethal. The core of individualism is pride, and pride isolates. We can keep our sexual desires in check and we can stop drinking too much and we can give ourselves to our mate in loving servanthood and we can parent our kids with diligence and we can recognize our demand to be in control—all without ever drawing close enough to another person to have him or her see us as we really are.

But deep change requires community, and community is always mutual. We must be willing to tell our story if we expect others to tell us theirs. 

Let’s think story. That’s our fourth dance lesson. We need to learn one movement. I call it transcendent curiosity. 

We must lead with our ears into the particular story of someone’s life. Curiosity begins the process. But not empathic curiosity. Our purpose is not merely to hear what another is feeling. We want to discern what the forces of darkness have been deceitfully saying to our friend; we want to recognize the Spirit’s whispers of truth coming from deep places in our friend’s soul that may yet be unheard. That’s transcendent curiosity. 

Read the preceding paragraph again. It’s important. If we know what it means and learn to be transcendently curious, we’ll be off to a good start in thinking story.

Larry Crabb — SoulTalk (pp. 138-139)

Telling our story is vital to our growth! We can choose to spend the rest of our lives in hiding and fear the thought of truly being seen by other people; or we can risk sharing who we really are at our core and let the chips fall where they may. In order to be fully seen, we must experience genuine community with others.

Whenever I am talking to someone—or listening to their story—I naturally find myself curious about what’s going on beneath the surface. There is the story they are telling—ie, facts, details, their interpretation, etc—and then there is a larger story they are a part of that might be wreaking havoc on their personal story. Maybe it’s as simple as they are failing to see their own personal greatness. They may be believing a story about themselves given to them by a caregiver or authority figure that isn’t true for them. Or, they may see themselves in a completely different light than everyone else sees. Either way, listening with transcendent curiosity creates space for the larger story to appear.

We need to tell our stories to each other. Each and every last one of us. Those who refuse to tell their stories turn out to be crotchety old bumps-on-a-log that nobody wants to talk to because their narrative is the exact same day after day. Because they refuse to be genuine and real with others, nobody wants to be genuine and real with them. It truly does go both ways.

The dance of SoulTalk is not an isolated event between us and a higher power. The dance of SoulTalk requires us to speak to others in our lives on a level that goes deeper than mere words.

As you go through the rest of your week, consider what may be going on in other’s lives beneath the surface. Consider listening with transcendent curiosity and then risk sharing your story with them.

Have a blessed day.

Peace and Love,

~Travis

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