Everything has a story. Sitting in my Aunt’s guest room in Taiwan right now I see a simple white towel hanging on the silver door knob on the inside of my room. This towel was certainly made at some point. Someone had to go outside, pick cotton from cotton plants and weave the cotton together. Perhaps they used a loom or maybe it was woven by hand. Either way, the towel was woven and sewn at the ends.
After hitching a ride on quite a few buses and cars, it reached its destination in the small market store down the street where my Aunt purchased it recently. This is indeed a story, but not a very interesting one. Because really, it is just a towel. I wonder about these things all the time. Not the towel per se but about the story that led to its existence. Who picked the cotton? Did they make a decent amount of money for their hard labor in the hot sun or were they left picking up food scraps off the cotton plant kitchen floor at the end of the day and sleeping in a shack not insulated from the outside elements? Who drove the cotton to its final destination? A man? A woman? Did it traverse over many hills and valleys and miles on the back of a bicycle?
To tell a story requires different elements. There must be characters: antagonists and protagonists. There must be a lesson to be learned. Oftentimes there is great adversity experienced along with great triumph. But in order to draw attention to a story, it must be interesting. There must be unexpected things told, mysteries which are left unsolved. The characters must be relatable, whether or not they are lovable.
But the greatest stories however, the ones that you hold close to your heart or remember at a random moment years later, are the ones that were fortunate enough to change your perspective. The world seems different. No longer are people and situations the same as they were before though nothing about these things has changed.
I am not very old. I have only seen a small part of the world. There are stories, quite a few I will share with you. Stories of people rejoicing. People in pain due to no fault of their own. People suffering as a result of their own decisions. Right now, on the outside, they are only a towel. On the outside, we see only a small glimpse, the result of much destruction and much growth. But there truly is a narrative, a story to be told about the lives of those we encounter every day as well as those we will never have the opportunity to meet.
All these stories culminate in the greatest story ever shared with humankind. All these people have a perspective, all these people have an opportunity to change mine and yours without ever encountering them. I will approach all these stories with a Christian perspective. My faith in Jesus Christ has opened my eyes to those He has put on this planet for a grand purpose. But God made these people. His story can be shared through theirs without much help from me.
Will you consider the story behind the towel hanging in your bathroom at home right now? More importantly, will you consider the stories behind the people you encounter every day? That is a lofty suggestion, I understand. So, for now, I would love to do the work for you. Walk with me as I tell you some stories of people you most likely have never met and my hope is you will come to understand why they must be told.
“In the beginning was the Word…” John 1:1a