“As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children…”–Psalm 103:15-17
Everyone has a story to tell, and I heard an interesting one in a strawberry patch.
My husband and I had chosen a recent sunny warm afternoon to drive to the “country” and crawl around in straw to find the juiciest red berries buried below waving green leaves. We filled a whole box full, 5.8 pounds. As the sun beat on our backs and the laughter and conversation of children from other rows drifted to our ears, we settled down to pick our little row of berries. Kneeling in the straw one row over was an older heavy-set man, gray t-shirt sticking to his back, wisps of hair blowing off his forehead from the breeze. He began a conversation with us, and as we exchanged pleasantries, I learned he was a retired pastor of 40 years. I asked how he was liking retirement, and he said he was, but it was a big change from his former job. I asked what hobbies he had and he said gardening. But his wife wanted to come pick berries, and he remembered enjoying his mother’s garden and berry picking as a child. So here he was, on his hands and knees in the straw, picking pounds of berries to take home. It was fun to share stories together, little slices of our lives.
My daughter likes to talk with older people (as long as they aren’t talking about their ailments). She finds them to have very interesting stories, like a couple of men at church–one who retired from the Air Force and one who does research on corn at the university. She recently stated that she wants to be like that when she is old—she wants to have a lot of interesting stories to tell.
As I reflected on this verse from Psalms, I realized our lives are truly pretty short, we flourish for awhile, then we are gone. What stories will we have to pass along to the generations behind us?
Older people have many stories, but no matter the age we are, we have stories too. Children have stories to share. Grown-ups have stories to share. God has a story to share. We can all share stories with one another, growing in a rich tapestry of life experience, humor, sorrow, and life. Today, share a story with someone. Share a slice of your life. Then ask for a story from them. You’d be amazed how much you’d learn about people, just swapping stories! And if the Spirit leads you, share God’s story and what He is doing in your life. People need to hear that too. Remember, life is short. Let’s share stories!
Prayer–“Gracious God, you give me stories to share, stories of your love and faithfulness, and a lot in between. Help me share those stories with others this week. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”