I can hear them from my spot at the kitchen sink. All three girls piled on the bed, the oldest telling a story to her cousins, my girls. Eager to join the party of giggles and laughter, the only boy of the party toddles and crawls to the bedroom.
My own oldest has been playing in narrative form since she could first talk. Mary is content to play along with the stories her sister Ruth makes up, to become a part of the stories they listen to—which gets confusing when they have to change places for the older to be Mary and for Mary to be Laura!
“Will you read me these stories, Auntie Gretchen?” I can’t resist my niece’s plea, and dishes done, we pile on the couch before naptime. I select The Tiny, Tawny Kitten rather than her stack of Disney princess tales, asking her instead to tell me the story of Cinderella when we’re through. “I can’t read,” she argues—but that doesn’t seem to affect her ability to give a fairly accurate retelling of the fairytale.
Everyone tucked into bed, I pour myself some iced coffee and sit down, eager to finally write a few words in these moments of quiet. Not because writing is the end, but because it is the beginning.
From our first encounter with “once upon a time,” we’re enthralled with stories. We make them up, we read them, we tell them—not to lose ourselves, but to find ourselves. And in the finding, we realize again that nothing is new under the sun, that every story is a retelling of an old story—His story.
From the beginning, He was the Word. He used words to write us into His story. He used story to proclaim the truth. And even in the writing of words, the telling of stories, we can worship the Word Himself.