By inviting a friend, neighbor or acquaintance to tell his or her story, we learn more than a set of facts. If we listen carefully, we end up learning how they think, feel, and relate to others.
Even more importantly, a bond is formed when we resist the temptation to talk and instead simply hear that person’s story, no matter how long it is. Yes, it may mean missing your next appointment.
Yet something very deep happens, between that person and me, once I’ve heard his or her story. I get glimpses of God’s fingerprints all over his or her story. It doesn’t always mean I’ll have the opportunity to introduce and eventually hook their interest in God’s stories. Then again, that’s often what happens.
The crazy thing? Nobody ever asks, “What’s your story?” So, many people are caught off guard, and may put up an initial defense. But if you keep smiling, allow for silence, and then ask again, many will begin.
So, never hesitate to ask the most beautiful of questions:
“What’s your story?”
David Sanford is an award-winning author, editor, and speaker. His latest book is whimsically titled, “Loving Your Neighbor: Surprise! It’s Not What You Think.”