Find your spot in the big story

Rick Cole

Rick Cole

This past December we saw the last installment of one of the grandest stories produced in the annals of human literature. The story, “The Lord of the Rings” is the story of Frodo, Sam, a ring, a King and the struggle of good against evil.

A great part about story and films, amidst the action and special effects, is the story of each character and the part they play in the quest. As the story progresses we see how each one either added to the quest or took away from the quest. Some characters added to it with bravery, goodness and sacrifice. Some of them took away from the quest with greed, deceit, cowardice and evil.

We find ourselves in a story too. It is God’s story, a story of a creator who created a world tht was good and then humankind who as the story goes,”were very good” But something happened to the story line. It was hijacked and became another story, something far from the original story.

And all of us have in someway since that time , to some degree have been passive participants and even coconspirators in the misdirecting of the story. But now God has entered the story to redirect, save and redeem it. He steps into the story to, as one author puts it, “asorb an unfathonable amont of pain, so we won’t suffer it ourselves, so our story won’t have a tragic end.”

There is a passage in the Bible, Matthew 25:31-46, that takes place at the end of this story. In this passage, Jesus separates people into two groups based on what they added or took away from the lives of those they encountered. He talks about those who fed him, clothed him, visited him in prison. Those he is addressing will say, “When did we ever see you this way?” And Jesus will reply that what we did to “the least of these you did to Me.”

To others he says, “You didn’t help me at all, you didn’t feed, clothe or visit me in prison.” And they will say, “When did we see you to help you?” And He will say, “If you didn’t do it for the least of these, you didn’t do for me.”

We are accountable on how we added to the story. How did I contribute to it? How do you contribute to it? What did I add or what didn’t I add to the story of others? What did I do to help connect God’s story with their story? Have we brought justice , grace and mercy or did we bring selfishness, hate and greed to it? How did my life enrich the life of others?

For what I believe to be true, the question is how does my life help people encounter the love of Jesus for them. Have I helped anyone experience God’s greater story of grace and glory? Or am I too busy writing my own storyline?

My friend George Mihai is a Romanian student currently workin in a mission to street people in Amsterdam. He sent me an e-mail telling about some of his experiences around Christmas. Amsterdam has one of the moste extensive red light districts in the world. He tells of caroling with others and suddenly they turned to sing carols in the RLD. As they were doing that , he noticed that one of the girls had gone over to a window where one of the girls working there was posing. He thought she was crazy but he saw her do a very simple thing.

She simply looked the girl in the eye, smiled and wave. The girl in the window gave a shy smile and wave back. A very simple thing. But for once the girl was looked as a person not an object. Someone had stopped to add some dignity to her life, some grace and glory.

I hope today is day that I too can add grace and glory to someone’s life.

Rick Cole is the campus minister for Christian Campus Ministry. You may contact him at [email protected]