What are the stories behind the names?
Recently, I joined a chronological Bible Study group. It was the culmination (might I add -touch of the Holy Spirit?) of a repeated attempt to keep a consistent practice of daily reading the Bible through this type of schedule. It’s been fabulous. The irony is that the first reading involved one of those geneology passages. You know what I’m talking about: those verses that include a list of names that are difficult to pronounce and are mostly never mentioned again in scripture. It’s easy to scan over them or even ignore them. What do they matter?
These names tell stories.
We may not know much about them. But they are known to their Creator (also ours). These ancient unfamiliar stories impact us.
The beauty of God’s Kingdom is that we find identity in our connection to each other.
A few years ago, my oldest son discovered an interest in tracing our family roots. My husband’s grandmother handed me a bundle of index cards. Written on each one was the name of each relative on her mother’s side-dating back hundreds of years.
These names tell stories. Tales of marriage, births, tragedy, moving, scandal (Captain Kidd!), death, remarriage, step children.
Sounds a lot like my own life.
What we learn is that we don’t differ much from each other. We each long for identity, purpose, love, mercy, grace. We all struggle to accept that God is enough. To recognize that fulfillment is only found in the Kingdom ushered in by Jesus rather than the one that lures us on a daily basis.
Each of us has the potential to shape relatives we will never know. Because God does.
Someday, my name will be listed in a geneology or written on an index card. I hope that the stories of my life will still find themselves somehow through the mouths of those who find my name.
But, if nothing else, my story will shape who they are. Even if they don’t know it.
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Andrew Budek-Schmeisser says
Great essay, Stephanie.
In this time of mourning when we are hearing about the 58 victims of the las Vegas massacre, I do wonder who will tell the stories of the equal number of people who die on our roads every day from DUI and texting-while-driving?
And the babies who se stories are cut off before they begin, by abortion in the womb that was meant to be their safety?
#2 at FMF this week.
Julie Lefebure says
How powerful our story is for generations to come! Thank you for pointing me to this reminder. My story isn’t just for those around me today, it’s also for those in the future. Loved your post! I’m blessed to be following you at FMF today!
Learning about my ancestors is always interesting to me. It’s interesting to think about how my story will be connected to generations down the line. I’m in the 7 spot this week.
A powerful post, Stephanie. Thank you for expanding the reach of legacy in my mind. I often just think of my boys, who prayerfully will outlive me. Have a blessed weekend, Julie