I watch the kids on stage leading worship and I water the front of my shirt. I cry because, in a God moment, I remember a hundred stories all at once.
It's Presentation Night at our home school co-op. There are families around me that I've been in community with for 6 years. There are kids on stage, one that I've watched morph from a hyper 10 year old into a confident 16 year old worship leader. I know these people's stories.
Usually, I'm thinking of the here and now when I'm around them. I'm thinking things like, "I need to ask so-and-so if I can borrow that book." "I have to tell so-and-so the funny thing her daughter said in ballet class." "I need to see how so-and-so is handling her grief." So I'm wrapped up in the here and now of life and home school and community.
But at Presentation Night I look around me and in an overwhelming wave, I remember their stories. The stories that brought them to our city from communist countries. The stories of how they came to be homeschooling when they were fiercely against it. Stories of dealing with twins and stories of open heart surgery for the three year old and stories of leukemia in a five year old ballerina. The stories of sacrifices made to home school. Stories of faithfulness and love and hope.
I know many of their stories. I've watched their families grow up and out and deepen.
And they know me. And they only laugh when Rosy tells them that the coffee they are drinking is going to kill them. And they graciously cover for me when everyone comes over for Spanish class and instead of making the mothers' tea, I am upstairs helping the cat birth kittens. They pray for me and bring me meals and laugh at my drama. They give me chocolate, just because.
We are knit together and though the stories are passed to me through many mouths there is one Author of them all. We bring our stones of testimony to this place and make a monument to the One who gives all shape and form and beauty.
As we are getting ready to leave Presentation Night, Dave and I stop to talk with someone I only know slightly. Something Dave said, brought a smile to her sweet face, and she says, "Do you want to hear my story about that?"
And we say, "Yes."
And we are blessed and proud to know the Author of her story.