I saw Angie (in the plaid coat) sitting in the cold of a McDonald’s parking lot, the contents of her life nearly spilling over the curb. She was rocking in the cold with her back to the cars cuddling a bundle in a blanket. Was it a child? Why was she there? I couldn't leave without doing something.
Every week pastors prepare messages to share with their congregation. They comb through God’s Word, tracing the etymology and meaning of passages to draw out the Father’s voice in a meaningful manner which will connect with their contemporary audience. But are words important? Do the the building blocks of storytelling old the key to reaching the next generation?
I recently attended a coffee chat at my children’s school. Leadership (who I greatly respect) were properly prepared. They had an agenda, talking points, graphs, and a wealth of knowledge to share with their audience; however, something was still missing.
The more I listened, and observed, the more I began to see what was missing and why a conversation was not being generated. The presenters were not speaking the same language as their audience. They were using a lot of wonderful terms but the word choices held weight within their world and didn’t translate into the lives of the audience.
In a recent Barna Frames Book about the roles of women by Kate Harris one quote struck me, “It’s not so much about finding balance as it is about finding coherence.”
It reminded me of how a successful female broadcast executive once answered my question about work-life balance: “Balance is a myth. It’s what wins right now.”
As young children we are taught to be creative, expressive, and it’s okay to color outside of the lines. However, this changes as we age. We go from dressing as we please to wearing black, hiding perceived flaws, and wanting to “fit in.” Eventually we trade our individual flair for the wisdom of the pack.
What if this did not have to be? What if individuality was en vogue and we truly celebrated what makes each person unique?