The Story behind the story….

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“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” Isaiah 53:3

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” John 8:7

There’s a young woman on the street corner. She twirls fingers through threads of black hair that reach her bikini topped breast. Her other hand holds a cigarette, the red ashes falling in the dim light. Her black boots click, click as she walks. Her elbows rest on a grey sedan’s open window ledge. She opens the passenger door and she gets in, rides away.

There’s a teen on the driveway. She twirls fingers through threads of black hair that reach the lettering on her t-shirt across her breasts. Her other hand holds an over-flowing bag, the red sequins on the straps flashing like diamonds. Her white converse runners squeak, squeak as she walks. Her elbows rest on the red mustang’s open window ledge. She opens the passenger door and she gets in, rides away.

There’s a child in the house. She twirls her fingers through threads of black hair that reach the collar of her pink sweater. Her other hand holds a blonde barbie, the doll’s clothes laying on the bare floor unseen in the darkness. Her bare feet tap, tap, as she walks. Her elbows rest on the bedroom’s open window ledge. She hears a door open behind her, closes her eyes and dreams of a white car and she gets in, rides away.

********

There’s a 17 year-old woman, her name and picture flashed up on my television screen. A public risk, they say, charged for aggravated sexual assault for not disclosing her life-threatening STD to consenting sexual partners. She is hand-cuffed, chained, behind bars.

She is bad, people are told, for having HIV.

Her story today, as told by others, is all that anyone sees, knows.

**********

There’s a baby in the crib. She twirls her fingers through threads of a pink blanket that reach her tummy. Her other hand holds a brown teddy bear, a red ribbon around it’s neck highlighted in the moon light. Her toes wave as she giggles. Her elbows rest on the mattress. She hears a door open behind her, her eyes open wide and she waves, waves her innocent tiny fists and feet in the air, ready to be embraced.

In today’s headlines, do you question “What is the story behind the story?”

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There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you–who are to judge your neighbour? James 4:12

(first published at Connecting Stories)

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17 thoughts on “The Story behind the story….

  1. Hi Lynn! There is a sameness to the way each story begins, but as you point out, how different each life is. I just wrote a post about how we never know what people carry, what they deal with.
    Judgement is such a harsh thing, and yet I know I fall into it all too easily. Who knows what has led to the decisions that people make? May I always see the dignity of a person’s life, not just their circumstances.
    Very thought-provoking post today,
    Ceil

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    1. Hi Ceil, There is sameness. I hadn’t put words to how our story begins and you have done that pointedly! And you have reminded me that it is really dignity that ALL deserve no matter their circumstances. We can be a vessel for God’s love and hope if we let go of our agenda’s and judgements. Have a wonderful week!

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  2. I just love this post Lynn..I have been very frustrated with the Christian dialogue regarding topical issues such as pro life/pro choice which seems to omit the human being and stories behind the story..your words ring true to what I think is needed in approaching such issues..how can we minister to people without relationship, without knowing who they are and what pains them, what story is behind their story..so good !! So beautifully written, too…so much appreciate this today!

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    1. I so agree! It is through story that we connect. And if we just assume their story or don’t take time to learn their story, how are we to minister to them even with any authenticity or even authority as a Christian? I know I can be judgemental and fear is the culprit just because some one is different than me. But fear is not from God. Thanks for provoking these messages in me today! Have a great week!

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  3. This is so powerful, Lynn. It brings tears to my eyes. We’re so quick to judge, but yes, there is always a story behind the story. And the stories I imagine make my heart ache and cry for them. Thank you for your compassionate heart! Love and hugs to you!

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  4. Hi Lynn,
    You speak such truth! There’s so much to another person’s story that the headlines or short synopsis can’t contain all the variables to motives or actions. There’s more than meets the eye, isn’t there? It’s hard not to judge until we know more but following Jesus’ example always leads us to the right conclusion! xo

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    1. Hi Valerie! I’m looking forward to reading (and seeing) about your trip to Rome! Yes, Jesus did give us the perfect example how not to judge, and opened our compassionate hearts through his own story of being judged! It’s hard to see all the variables yet we can treat others with the love of Christ that resides in us. Hugs back!

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  5. Lynn, what a thought-provoking post. It’s so easy to think we know the entire story, when really, we only see what’s on the surface. It’s easy to judge and assume . . . Thanks for the reminder to never be quick to assume I know the ending or the background of a story.

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  6. Oh Lynn, this is SO POWERFUL. I just love how you painted this picture, described such details behind the story… and the message hit me HARD. We DON’T know the story behind every headline, every person we see. You have taken this important call to NOT judge to a whole new level with this post.

    Beautiful, friend. I’ll be sharing this so others can be blessed by your words with hopes to open hearts and reveal TRUTH. I for one, cannot cast that first stone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Christine. Your support to get this message out means a lot to me. Yes, I do pray God opens my heart and eyes to the truth so I can help instead of be part of the dark of judgement. Blessings my friend!

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  7. Wow! Your words today hit me deep and leave me with the question-so I know the story behind the story. You presented such a compelling case through your words for each of us to look beyond the surface. Jesus had the gift for doing that and when he did the lessons were memorable and filled with truth. Thank you for taking me on a journey to look beyond and know that God has the full story.

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    1. Hi Mary, Yes, Jesus did have the gift and it also makes me realize we may not know the full story ever, but we can ask the Holy Spirit to lead us as God always knows the full story. Thank you for provoking that thought in me today with your words!

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  8. This is excellent! You gave vivid reminders about what we don’t always see–the story behind the story. I learned some of that when we were unemployed, standing in line at the grocery store with others–wondering if the person ahead of me felt as sad or if the clerk used to be a CEO of a big company and had not choice but to take this job. We never know the whys unless we reach out and care.

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  9. I am reminded everytime I judge someone how I was judged as a child, especially as a teen. Nobody knew what was going on in our house because I never told anyone but the effects of it was all over me. I sought relief in being tough, drinking as a teen, marry way too young. I am thankful for the few who seen the effect of an abused child and loved on me without having to peel back my outward shell. It was enough they loved on me. Great post.

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    1. I can see now why Wise Hearted fits so well with you. It sounds like through your experiences you learned the importance of loving unconditionally as God loves us too. And I am thankful for the ones that stepped up and loved on you. Makes me realize the importance again of not judging as I don’t know the story behind the story…thanks for sharing a little of your story here. Lynn

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