Sunday, September 28, 2014

Are you saved?

At the core of One Amazing Thing, by Chitra Divakaruni, the people trapped after an earthquake in the passport office decide to tell an amazing story that they have never shared before with anyone. The stories give a depth and understanding to the characters that we wouldn’t have had if they hadn’t told their amazing stories.

And so it is with us.

I have my father’s journal that he kept his senior year in Battle Creek, Michigan. In it he writes about the Spanish-American war, about running and losing the race for class president as the new kid and the bullying that ensued, about the difference (in his teenage mind in the 1920s) between a good girl and a floosy.

I have my son’s journal that he kept during his 7th grade in Meadows, TX, a suburb of Houston. When he graduated from UT with honors and began teaching 7th grade geography, I got it out and let him read it. He was shocked by how much he defied authority. But having the evidence in writing helped him become a more insightful teacher.

I have my own pink journal that I kept after my divorce. Page after page I try to make sense of the betrayal, of the death of a marriage, of the hopelessness… and little by little, hope shows up again, and I move on with my life. The life I have today is filled with a joy I could  not imagine in 1991, but I have "walked through the valley of death" to get here, and my pink journal documents the journey.

 "When a person dies, a library is burned," writes author and poet Jandy Nelson. And it is true. If the person does not write her story--her legacy to her descendants.

Are you saved?

I challenge you to weave together your amazing stories from the threads of your life and make an heirloom tapestry that will be handed down from generation to generation.