Daily Step – The Importance of Story


Stories form us.

We are deep in the weeds of the learning to read years. The years where a parent tries desperately to move a child from the love of just listening to stories to a love of reading stories themselves. I have noticed that this work of learning to read, at least with my children, has also brought forth a creative spirit – one that loves to make up stories and weave tales as each child tries to understand the world around them.

This morning the story was intricately woven around the fog that surrounded us on the ride to school. I decided not to give them a scientific lesson on fog and instead listen to what their brains could collectively come up with. By the end of the short ride, there was quite the story of a fire at a policemen’s house that was expertly put out by the fireman’s hose leaving only the thick smoke behind – hence, the fog.

We will work on science later.

I was moved by the words of Pope Francis recently about the vital importance of story – both our real life stories and the ones in our imaginations. He said:

“By the power of the Holy Spirit, every story, even the most forgotten one, even the one that seems to be written with the most crooked lines, can become inspired, can be reborn as a masterpiece, and become an appendix to the Gospel.

Stories that build up, not tear down; stories that help us rediscover our roots and the strength needed to move forward together. Amid the cacophony of voices and messages that surround us, we need a human story that can speak of ourselves and of the beauty all around us. A narrative that can regard our world and its happenings with a tender gaze. A narrative that can tell us that we are part of a living and interconnected tapestry. A narrative that can reveal the interweaving of the threads which connect us to one another.”

I saw that connection to one another in the short story about the fog this morning where people were simply helping people. These are the stories I hope my sons continue to weave and the stories we continue to share with one another.

What story will you tell today?

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