As I’ve been practicing drawing out Jesus stories in stick figures, I often ask Him, “Who would be encouraged by this story?” (If you haven’t checked out Pam Arlund’s book “Stick Figures Save the World”, please do! The blog will be here when you get back.)
A few months ago, I asked that question, “Who would be encouraged by this story?”, and immediately a face popped into my head. The neighbor of a friend of mine. A deeply spiritual, transgender Vietnam vet with a passion for mentoring and organic gardening. It had probably been at least five years since I’d seen her. And we were now in the thick of COVID lockdown.
I took a deep breath and said, “Lord, if you want me to share this story with her, you’re going to need to figure out a way for us to connect.”
Within a week through a serendipitous facebook post about garden starts, I was standing in her backyard. “Would you like to see? Would you like some seeds?” Her generous spirit beamed as she showed me all sorts of “medicine” growing in the backyard that had been a part of her healing journey from cancer. Even in early spring her kale and chard were thriving. We ducked through arbors and work sheds and rain barrels collecting the runoff from the roof.
I commented on the artistry of something she had created. She paused, leaned in and asked, “Are you artistic?”
I laughed. “Nope. Not at all. BUT…I’ve been practicing an art form lately where I illustrate stories of Jesus with stick figures.”
“Really!” She mused, leaning in further.
I told her about sharing the stick figures with my niece and shared the story of the Unforgiving Servant as I described my niece’s depiction of torment by drawing a stick figure with a ball and chain and a black eye.
And suddenly we weren’t just talking about my niece. We were talking about Vietnam and grief and moral injury. Listening to the Spirit and one another and wondering what it would mean to respond to the story with wisdom.
Salty storytelling allows me to connect with people and connect with Jesus. I’ve never felt like I had a good answer for when people asked me if I was artistic. But now I have one that can open up conversations about so much more than art!
Written by an All Nations Hub Team Member
Crafting salty statements is part of our training on Storytelling, Catalyze and People of Peace.We’d love to have you join us sometime for any of those trainings, or consider joining us for CPx, which includes both Catalyze and the Storytelling Workshop. We hope you are inspired to thoughtfully bring Jesus into your everyday conversations!