There’s nothing quite like a good story whether it’s a great book or a tall tale spun by an aging relative. The best stories, though, are those that are true told from the lives of real people.
I’ll tell you about a few snippets of stories from Grandma and the grocery store clerk. First, a little about me.
Every person I meet, I long to find out the story of their life. What’s makes them tick? What have they gone through in life? What helps them get through each day? Do they feel they are successful at life? Do they have a purpose?
I have always been naturally curious about people. I’ll blame that on my Grandma. When I’d stay with her during the summers, we’d go to town on Saturday and do the grocery shopping.
After the shopping though came the fun time. We’d sit in the car on the square and people-watch as Grandma called it. She loved it. She’d tell the story of every person that walked by.
More often than not one of them would stop and “sit a spell” in the car with us. They’d add to their story something that had just happened or was going to happen. I learned early from my favorite adult that everyone has a story and each one is fascinating. The knowledge of the importance of an individual’s story has driven my life in many ways. Individual stories are always unique and special, even when people don’t think they are.
People are validated when I take time to listen to their story, ask questions, write it and publish it. Not only are they validated but others can gain from hearing how they faced difficulties, struggles, opportunities, discouragements and triumphs. As a writer, editor and publisher I have always implement this belief in people’s stories. Most everyone else holds this belief, too, deep down inside. They just don’t think about it every time they meet someone. For me, it is a driving force.
The other day I waited in a long line to get checked out at the grocery store. When it was my turn, I asked the clerk checking my $230 worth of groceries if he’d had a good day.
When he said that he hoped tomorrow would be better. I had to ask why? I always ask why.
He told me about people calling in sick, a large frozen food freezer going on the fritz and him being the only manager on duty. He looked to be a college student.
He was frowning. His strong face, topped by dark, shortly cropped and immaculately styled hair, was contorted in anxiety.
I said, “At least the sun is shining.” I saw his handsome smile for the first time since I had been standing in line.
It was a short conversation, one in which he told me part of his story. Perhaps part of the belief that everyone has a story is believing their story is worth listening to when they tell it.
Listening to others
People want to be listened to. Some don’t want anyone else to know their stories. That’s OK. Part of the belief is recognizing that each person owns their story and has a right to keep it confidential.
This idea that people’s stories are important is not a unique belief but, it is a strong one that defines my life in so many ways. It is a belief that everyone, no matter who, wants someone who will listen to their life story or even just a piece of it.
This website is dedicated to the idea that there is value in the stories of real people going through real struggles, living real lives connected with a real God.
Those stories can in some profound way affect others who read them.
The stories shared here will be more in-depth issues than what I shared regarding Grandma or the grocery store clerk. But, they will be defining moments for individuals. Some stories will share how individuals faced those moments with courage and positivity.
Others will share how the moments led them down a road of despair that ultimately led to a turn-around in their lives. Some stories may share honestly about how people are still dealing with the difficulties but how they are able to face life knowing they exist.
All of the stories we share will be about real people going through real struggles, living real lives connected to a real God.
When thinking about difficult moments, I am reminded of the photo I’m sharing with this post. We were at a family reunion. The idea was to get a picture of my Grandma with her then 10 great-grandchildren.
Getting all the kids and babies to stop crying, picking their noses, smile and look in the same direction was not working. Instead of being upset, Grandma in her unique way of looking at life lightened up the moment considerably with her laughter.
She laughed with her whole body, guffawed really, until she had tears streaming down her face. The room was loud, the kids were going crazy, no one was looking at the camera and Grandma loved being in the here and now.
It was a real moment and one of my favorite memories of her.
The stories we tell on this site may make you laugh or cry or have your own life-changing moment. Whatever the story, though, you won’t want to miss it. I get excited just thinking about writing them.
Along with the stories about people, we will tell stories about ministries, human service organizations, businesses and churches making a difference in individual’s lives, helping them live with profound excellence no matter what life has thrown at them.
The goal is to also have links and advertisements that give information for those wanting to explore information more fully.
Sharing stories of how God makes a difference in the lives of people is a pathway I have been following as far back as I remember. It has taken me down many paths working for denominations, schools, hospitals, newspapers, magazines and Christian publications.
One of the favorite publications I did was Good News Journal. It is definitely the predecessor to this site. Our tag line was “Publishing the good news about what God is doing in the world today.”
Good news is still what I want to share. Instead of a printed publication, it will be a internet publication. It is taking a new form and new name but the vision is the same.