On the first Wednesday of the month, we publish blog posts written by members of our Generous Space Community. This piece is by Kat Scarlett, a member of the St. Catharines, ON Generous Space Group.
This year was my first year attending the Ontario Generous Space Retreat. It was a divine experience to say the least. I participated in worship, experienced tremendously well executed workshops, and made beautiful friendships.
After the weekend I received a message from one of the organizers, Beth. She wanted to share with me a kind message that was sent to her through the survey sent out to the attendees for me:
“Katie, you are a lovely presence. You have a lovely way of bringing people together, listening attentively to their stories and sharing yours.”
When asked to write a blog post for the Generous Space Blog, I thought this would be a great catalyst. I encourage all of you reading to consider your stories, consider the lives you impact with them, and to remember that I love coffee dates!
When I think about my life, a consistent interwoven thread throughout is my ability to tell a good story. Now please don’t get me wrong here, this isn’t for lack of a lifetime of terrible stories, I think this is purely because I just don’t stop talking. If you know me, you know that the minute I came into this world I have been chatting away. I personally blame my mother for bringing me to church days after my birth and passing me around the pews – obviously the social butterfly in me was nurtured from infancy.
But there’s something new that came with age, a deep curiosity for people and their stories, and what their stories had the capacity to do in community once shared. Our stories aren’t always glamorous or beautiful. Often on the contrary, they’re rough around the edges. Our stories are painful and show lives truly lived and endured.
How do we sit with the lives we’ve lived and reconcile their impact and create something worthy of sharing that could help others? In what ways can our stories help others? Maybe you feel that your story won’t hold a candle to the ones you’ve heard and therefore you stay silent. Maybe you feel that things you’ve experienced or have participated in aren’t redeemable and you sit in the shadows.
Let me tell you that our God looked at his people, who were considered nobodies, who thought of themselves as unworthy or incapable, and he gave them the voice and the power to use their OWN STORIES to impact their people and the world, and make changes that lead to greatness.
Moses. A man who stuttered, who was terrified or public speaking, given the strength and the power to lead his people into freedom. His words to God were “Who am I?”
The Woman at the Well, the Bible’s first evangelist to the Gentiles. She was a woman who Christ spoke with one on one, confronting her with her life, her inability to find status in a society that crushes women, her inability to achieve true safety and freedom from patriarchal rule. He sees her for who she is, who she seeks to be. Valued. And he tells her that the Messiah is here, and he is coming to deliver them. Does she feel as though she is the vessel that this message is to be passed through at first? As a Samaritan woman? No. She questions him.
Mary. Christ’s own mother. She questioned her position in this plan from the very beginning! How could we not feel the same when Christ’s own mother felt lost, confused and alone?
There are so many stories throughout Christianity that express God working through the stories of folks in order to bless the lives of others in miraculous ways. How has your story impacted the lives around you? Is there a specific instance that you have seen your life have a positive ripple effect in the lives of the people you have been in contact with?
More about Kat:
Kat is a tenderhearted queer girl who has a heart for the world and a passion for people. She’s invested in seeing Christ move through this world in a new way, which seems radical to many. She’s a lover of glitter, tea, elephants, and poetry, and maybe if you’re lucky she’ll sing for you too.
You can check out more of Kat’s writing here: amorningwithkat.ca
And find her on Instagram @amorningwithkat