When I was a little girl and visiting my grandparents, my parents always knew where to find me. I would always be sitting at grandpa’s feet. There I would sit for hours listening to grandpa tell stories of when he grew up. I heard many of the same stories over and over. They changed a bit over time. Grandma said he was embroidering the stories (adding little exaggerations, more each time!). But I loved to hear grandpa talk and tell stories. And he loved to tell me stories.
Tell me stories, please
When I was young, grandpa would talk about the watermelon harvest. They only had 2 sets of clothing. One for everyday and one for Sunday. So, when they ate watermelon everyday for a week, the clothes would stand up beside the bed at night, so stiff with the sugar from all the watermelons. And I believed that story for many years.
As I grew older grandpa told stories about driving a car with his friends and racing down a hill at the top speed of 25 miles per hour! He told about how he met my grandma, how he wooed her, and how he finally won her. Such romance!
When I was in college I heard stories of my mother’s first word, how the tornadoes had torn through their different towns over and over again. I heard stories of grandpa as a postman and working in the church. He told me stories every time I saw him.
Each story had a hidden meaning
The one thing each story had in common, besides embroidering, was the hidden meaning. When I was growing up I didn’t realize the stories had meaning. I thought they were fun and exciting and I wanted to hear more. And I always wanted to be like grandpa and have adventures like him.
But now as I look back, I see the truth grandpa hid in his stories. Ways to bring us closer to family and closer to God. As I write kid’s books and Christian fiction, I want to tell a story to keep the reader involved. I want to tell a story to make them want to hear it over and over again. I will tell a story so compelling they will share it with others without ever knowing the truth burying itself deep in their hearts.
Jesus told stories
Long ago, Jesus told stories to Mary. She waited at Jesus’ feet to hear his stories and feel his love through his words. We can kneel at Jesus’ feet today or this evening. We can open our Bibles and read the stories in there and listen to him speak love to our hearts.
Luke 10:39 She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said.
As the old hymn goes:
Tell me the old, old story of unseen things above,
Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.
Tell me the story simply, as to a little child,
For I am weak and weary, and helpless and defiled.
Tell me the old, old story, tell me the old, old story,
Tell me the old, old story, of Jesus and His love.