I love cities. Hip cafes, endless art and shops to explore on every street. But what I really love is watching people. Business women power-walking several blocks in heals, homeless men with wet cardboard signs and their heavy dark winter coats, stained with experience. Dog-walkers, workers precariously high on scaffolding, valet parkers in velvet coats, shoppers laden with packages, food truckers in dirty aprons, tourists with those dazed expressions of “where am I?”. They’re all people with unique stories.
There’s a sense of connection for me there, amidst such diversity of occupation, race, stature and age. Everybody has a place and a story that just for that moment landed them in that particular city, right there on the same street.
Do you ever wonder what their stories are?
Last week, I went to Storyline and after a day in downtown Chicago (for another conference), I headed to the suburbs for three days learning to write better stories. It was awesome – although I confess, I think the significant time spent on thinking about and writing your own story was the most powerful.
Why’s that? Because I’m entirely convinced that when we have the courage stop people watching and turn inward – to face the dark, untouched places of our mind and heart – we’ll come out much braver for it. Braver, and confident and able to live like God intended. Bob Goff put so concisely at the conference:
“God wants us to live right on the edge of yikes.”
I want to be there – right on the cliff – thrilled beyond measure to be following a Master who is guiding those amazing stories. And when I stand before Him at the end, I want to hear something like this: “You SAW people, and the more you got to know Me, the more you saw them and their needs, their struggles and their stories. The more you saw, the more you entered in with them. You were constantly on the edge of yikes – and it’s right where I wanted you because you knew it wasn’t your effort, but my Spirit moving in you. Well done, my daughter. You lived in grace and you walked in love (2 John 1.6).”