Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sharing Stories

Sharing Stories, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
Earlier this year, I presented a paper at the Native American Literature Symposium which was held on the Isabella Indian Reservation in Mount Pleasant, MI. The Isabella Indian Reservation is home to the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe of Michigan. This photo was taken in their cultural museum. This particular exhibit shows one of the ways which traditions are passed from one generation to another. It is as we gather together and listen and learn from our older people we learn and pass these stories on to future generations. It is this way among the Shawnee as well as the Chippewa, and probably true of all peoples--problem is many people don't take time to listen to the stories anymore.

That's definitely not the case with my family.

Yesterday we had several visitors in my mom's room at the hospital. She is staying in one of a handful of suites that were designed for such a purpose. Among the visitors have been my nephew and sister in law, many friends, and a number of our extended family members.

While it has been an emotional time for all of us it has also been a good time of celebration of our many memories with our mom and with each other. All through the day and night we have been sharing stories with each other and with my mom. My mom has also been sharing in special ways with each one of us.

It is truly a gift to be able to sit at my mom's feet, and at the feet of so many other godly people and continue to soak in their wisdom and life lessons. As the younger ones of our family sit at the feet of these wisdom keepers, we relish in the joy of hearing their words and learning from them. At the same time we realize the responsibility also lies with us to pass these lessons on. That has always been a part of our way of living.

Do you take time to listen to the older people in your life? Who are the teachers in your family who you need to take time to listen to? Or maybe you are that teacher--are you passing your stories on to the next generation?

I marvel at the greatest Story, and how the Great Storyteller allows each one of us to take part in a long legacy of sharing our own stories of how Jesus has walked with us. He has made his presence felt in a very intimate and sacred way to our family during these last few days. It has been beautiful, wonderful, and utterly indescribable. May you know Him in such a way as you read these words!


Pam Swope said...

Your family is truly celebrating your mom's life. What an amazing testimony to her! I get goosebumps when I read your blogs about what's going on. I am taken back to when my mom and dad were failing in their health and the time I spent with them...though neither had good minds at that time...we tried to remind them of stories and family stuff. I continue to be blessed by the way you honor not only your parents but the rest of your family. God is so good. Keep us posted....we miss you in Mo-town.

Baby Hancock said...

I have been comforted recently by Psalm 78. It talks about how the Israelites were told to tell their unborn children and the next generation about God and His law. As I mourn Mom not being able to be a grandmother to my child, I am encouraged that I can tell him about her and that was what God had the Israelites do to teach about Himself. I am glad that you got to spend some precious time sharing stories with your family!

cameron king said...

Hey Billy! Thanks for your attitude and commitment to and trust in God; it's inspiring. I'm so glad you've had a good weekend with your mom and family.

H2O went well last night! We had our usual 35 or so. Stu led worship and I gave the talk (at my usual 40:00 or so, heh!). I'm taking the day off but I'll look for you online through the day if you want the message for the podcast. Later bro, love ya!

Anonymous said...

Billy, just wanted to drop a line to let you know that we're thinking about you and praying for your mom & family. We miss you & are here for you if you need anything. ~The Chases