Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Weight of a Story

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I used to sit and talk with strangers.  I loved to hear their stories.  But when they would tell me their stories, inside my heart would shake for them, and I could see the whole universe inside them.  I could see who they were, beyond what they told me, and I could see who they would become.  So I wrote about them, as if I was on the inside of them, hoping to prophesy them into their destiny.  Here is an example of someone I spent many evenings with outside a coffee shop, under a warm night sky, sipping mochas and listening to his simple stories where I could peak into his depths:

I am a man, but much younger than my years.
I love to ride my Harley, to breath open wide air. I’ve inhaled the ocean breeze; I’ve cruised city streets. And I’ve listened to favorite beats that keep their rhythms in my head. I’ve fought and played, loved and bled. I have even come close to seeing the end. I've smoked too many cigarettes to count, and the smells of sandy beaches and rained-upon grasses have filled my nostrils countless times...
I hold this freedom in my hands until it consumes my whole being, until the world starts believing.
I never married, but had a few heartaches. Some say love breaks so deep that it can never be put together again. It leaves a permanent scar embedded with a signature that shakes you forever within. I love women, but never get too close anymore.
I’ve seen the world, seen great sights, been to great heights…and ventured to low ones. Smells tend to linger like an aftertaste, a trace of wasted adventures and mistakes. I can still smell back alleys and that old apathetic shack that still whispers pathetic tragedies. But I let those smells waft by and hold on to the ones that fly.
I enjoy artistic expression and honest confessions – art that embraces and traces smiles on faces; paint that reveals hidden maps to unknown places.
I am an explorer, a casual enjoyer of life in the present. I don’t resent my parents, and I don’t obsess over my appearance. I prefer sun over rain any day and I like the way black and gray complement each other.
Whether I am happy or not, I am a people-person at heart, and I know I talk a lot. Yet, I have very few close friends, and my dog is the best one I’ve got.
In all my 40 years, I never once gave up. Yet today I am static, not eager to grow up – I’m stuck. Many things about this world seem to hold me back. I’ve sat on my past for far too long. I love God, and His Son. But I have some questions for both of them… such as, why evil rules this world when God is supposed to be King…and why I don’t feel Him when I need Him to encourage me. I know the Bible, at least some parts of it, and I think it’s alive. But I haven’t learned to dive into His heart just yet.
It was my birthday last Tuesday, but I didn’t tell anyone. It’s just another age, it’s not who I am. Because who I am is a big kid forever…I feel like I am twenty-five and I can never get older. It’s as if time has frozen me, but still goes on around me…and my memories are much older than I remember them being.
I like to laugh, and I like to cry, and I know that I am happy. But I am increasingly aware that something incredibly valuable is missing, and I cannot put my finger on it. It’s like a faint memory that is just passed the corner of your mind’s eye, and you wonder why this smell or image is so familiar. It’s like a word you can’t seem to remember, but it’s right on the tip of your tongue, lingering under the taste of your last gasp…its presence you feel but it is never in clear vision. And it’s because you are not in the right position.
Some day, though, I will see with wide-open eyes as I exhale the breeze of the Spirit within me. I will fly over the oceans with freedom in my hands; I will breathe higher air and leave that old man on the land. Then I’ll find that I am found by this one simple sound – “You are my son, and My love for you abounds.”
I am a man, but much more than what you see now.
(written by Bethany Hall)

Flying books :)
Words have wings...open a book and set the words free to soar over streets and release their stories ♥

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