Unfolding Enough: Faith’s Building Blocks

Who doesn’t love a good story? The sale of millions of books each year in the United States boldly points to a people who value and desire story.

Consider the last book you read, television program you watched, or movie you went to see. Why did you feel drawn to read or watch it?

Read the quote below several times. Notice the words or phrases that catch your attention.

Storytelling has always been at the heart of being human because it serves some of our most basic needs: passing along our traditions, confessing failings, healing wounds, engendering hope, strengthening our sense of community. But in our culture of invasion and evasion, this time-honored practice cannot be taken for granted.

Because our stories make us vulnerable to being fixed, exploited, dismissed, or ignored, we have learned to tell them guardedly or not at all. Neighbors, coworkers, and even family members can live side by side for years without learning much about each other’s lives. As a result, we lose something of great value, for the more we know about another’s story, the harder it is to hate or harm that person.

—Parker Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness

Which basic need do you find fulfilled through storytelling? Why?

Do you consider yourself a private person? What keeps you from sharing your story with others?

What happens in our world when we refuse to share our story?

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