“Story draws us together, hands and voices and memories. It bridges the distances we’ve created, because we thought the distance would keep us safe. It doesn’t. It only keeps us lonely.”
Story is something that is universally uniting and in many ways it is something we as a sound bite generation have forgotten. We are more interested in Facebook posts, blog comments and judging someone based on 140 characters or less. What this has led to is more online fighting and less actual conversations and discussions. Maybe part of the reason for all of this is because in losing the importance of story in each of our lives we have ended up dehumanizing each other. In “Speak: How Your Story Can Change the World”, Nish Weiseth places story once again at the heart not just of humanity but how people and cultures change.
Nish, who is a blogger, speaker and author, shares her own journey, her own story. In it she also shares the stories of those people whom she has met and known. Through her storytelling ability Nish shows how the power of story can deconstruct our assumptions about others. Nish offers humor along with heart in giving the reader a glimpse into what the heart of story is about, finding the humanity, the image of God, in one another
Nish’s book was a joy to read. In pastoral ministry it can be easy to get caught up in systematics, definitions and theology that is removed from daily experience. Nish reminded me, as I read, that there is a beautiful grace God gives us when share our own story. In a world that seems so cruel, often on social media, the uniting factor of story, of where we came from, what shaped us, what our dreams and hopes are is powerful. Sharing our story is not easy though, it is something that makes us vulnerable, it is something at opens up who we are to others. In a world where hiding behind an online persona, where we only post what we want, truly sharing your story means allowing others to peek behind the mask.
Nish speaks of story of all of us. She does not say that story only matters for those who reached fame, political success or anything of the like. Rather what Nish urges the reader to do, is to see their ordinary lives as an amazing story when living faithfully in the normal things for God. I encourage you, especially those who spend time in the social media world, to read this book, to be reminded of the importance of your story and the story of those you know.
You can buy “Speak” on Amazon here.