The title of Lawrence Kushner’s book zings me—Invisible Lines of Connection: Sacred Stories of the Ordinary. I marvel at his aha! words combined that way. They stretch my awareness of God and life, of me and my family.
I applaud their meaning.
Those words capture the purpose—the heart—of spiritual memoirs.
You are an intentional story
Writing a memoir includes looking back, pondering, examining, looking for deeper meanings and patterns and threads.
In doing so you discover that from one generation to the next God arranges “invisible lines of connection” and in your everyday moments He writes “sacred stories of the ordinary.”
“Reverence before heaven. Amazing grace,” Kushner writes. “It is a way of understanding your place within Creation . . . . When viewed from a point of high enough vantage, everything is revealed to be in the hands of God, as in the Yiddish saying, Alles ist Gott, ‘It’s all God’.” (Invisible Lines of Connection: Sacred Stories of the Ordinary. Emphasis mine).
God’s presence and His sacred, invisible, connecting lines in your life have been there all along, since before your birth.
Try to take this in: God includes you in His sacred stories that span the centuries.
“You are a story,” writes Dan Allender. “You are not merely the possessor and teller of a number of stories; you are a well-written, intentional story that is authored by the greatest Writer of all time, and even before time and after time.
“The weight of these words . . . will call you to a level of co-authorship that is staggering in its scope and meaning.” (Dan. B. Allender, PhD, To Be Told)
You have a remarkable life
You are part of God’s divine story
You began with a plan God wrote:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NLT)
“The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forever more.” (Psalm 121:8, NIV)
You discover sacred stories of the ordinary, Kushner says, “throughout all creation, just beneath the surface . . . .”
You might think you live an inconspicuous, unremarkable life but, through the generations, God has been writing His sacred stories through you and your family’s ordinary events.
Search for ways God has watched over your ancestors’ coming and going because through those people and events God was preparing for, and then shaping, you.
The beginning of our story on earth “seldom coincides with our birth. Our story begins,” says Allender, “with the characters who gave us birth, including their past relationships with their parents and issues such as success and shame; power and abuse; love, loss, and addiction; heartache and secrets . . . . We owe our existence to the generations that came before us. Our beginning, which took place before we were born, signals some of the themes that will play out in our life.” (Allender, To Be Told)
You are surrounded by sacred connections
Look for broader, deeper significance hidden in everyday moments.
Ask God to give you glimpses of His hand-written, just-beneath-the-surface stories.
And then ponder this:
You are the bridge God has placed between your family’s generations past and generations yet to come.
Your stories matter. Your stories can make a difference.
Stories guide, inspire, encourage, influence, motivate, and empower.
Stories shape lives.
Your stories can shape the lives of children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and generations yet unborn.
“Sometimes a particular story, or version of a story, is so potent,” says Ayd Instone, “that it becomes so interwoven in our lives that it defines the direction our life story takes and modifies behavior . . . .”
Your stories are important. Write them for generations yet to come.
“Write what should not be forgotten.” (Isabel Allende)
Linda Thomas and her husband Dave were Bible translators for three years in South America and eight years in Africa. Grandma's Letters from Africa is her memoir about their first four years in Africa. Photo courtesy Linda Thomas.
Share a way you know you have been included in God’s sacred story.