My favorite story I did this semester was on two guys from Nigeria, and it was about their love for soccer and how different it is for them to be in America, especially at a school where there isn't a mens soccer program. I probably only needed ten minutes to ask them the questions that I had written down, but we ended up sitting and talking for over an hour. We had this common bond in this game that we all love, and so many other interesting conversations stemmed from that one little common interest we shared. I left that interview on that Saturday morning thinking, "I love that I was just randomly connected with those guys--two complete strangers, that I ended up sitting there talking and laughing with for over an hour."
The bond that was formed over something as small as soccer is such a great example of the Kingdom of God to me. All we need is this one common love--the love of Christ--and our stories begin to unravel. I could talk for hours about all that the Lord has done in my life, all of the grace and mercy he's had on me in all of my imperfection, all of the things he's done that I don't deserve... and I'm sure all of you could also. I wonder if I could challenge us all to learn someone's story this week. It could be someone you've known for years that you've just never really gotten to know deeply, or a complete stranger. The thing is, everybody has a story. There are stories upon stories out there to be heard, and who are we to think that we're above listening to them? God may use the story of a complete stranger to change your heart. And hey, if nothing else, you'll get to know something interesting that you didn't know before.
Maybe you know someone who's story is "still being written." They don't really get it yet... they're still searching. I know some of the people in my life that I love the most are in that place right now. For them, I've learned to pray. I heard an old mentor of mine say once that she's learned that her job isn't to tell people about Jesus--it's to tell Jesus about people. I've never prayed the same since then. I tell Jesus their stories, although he already knows them--I tell him how I can't wait to know the rest of it, when he's done with it.
So learn a new story this week, and pray for the happy ending of a "story gone awry" of someone you love. I know we all are capable of both.