Listening to Stories


Since working with hospice as a chaplain, my children have asked me what it is that I actually do. When I was the pastor of a church, my role was easy for them to see. As I speak at conferences and seminars, they often travel with me. Even on mission trips around the globe they have sometimes accompanied me and know what it is that I do while I am gone. As a chaplain, though, they weren’t sure what it was that I do all day.

My answer? I listen to stories. I listen to the stories of people. I listen to the stories of those who are actively, imminently dying. I listen to the stories of their spouses, children and grandchildren. I listen to the stories of those who know them best. And I pray with them. Every person has a story. Everyone’s life tells of who they are, what they dream of, what they value and whether they are ready to stand before God and have their life story read back from His books. People are fascinating. No two are alike. Everyone has a unique story, yet the end of the story is the same for everyone. It is appointed for man once to die, and then the judgement. The beginning may change, the characters may be different, the adventures unique — but the end is the same. We all must stand before God and give an account to Him of our lives and whether we have included His Son Jesus as the central character in our story.

How about you? Are you ready for your story to be read before the Almighty?

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