This week, I am in the midst of The Story Gathering here in Nashville. It’s a conference for creatives, artists, writers, etc who believe in the power of story to change the world. I love this gathering because it’s not a “Christian Conference,” but it’s hosted by followers of Jesus so there is a hopeful, life giving joy that fills the space. Yesterday we heard from a variety of story tellers and creatives. One of my heroes, Brad Montague encouraged us to get excited about the future because we are bringing good things to our world just by being in it! (see a bit of Brad below) And Kevin Carroll invited us to keep reading good books and not forget the joy and power of play! I loved that he found community on the playground and threw a red kick ball into the audience! He even gave away a stack of his favorite books! We heard from Yoko Sen who is changing the sounds in hospitals and asking people what the last sound they’d want to hear as they leave the world….and it’s not a bunch of beeping machines. We listened to the stories of film maker Abby Fuller (Netflix Chef’s Table ) who reminded us that we can break the “US vs THEM” mentality by creating empathy with our audience. Connection between people is key! We were invited to write by Allison Fallon! and to see ourselves as writers even if we write just 20 minutes, 4 days in a row, we can improve not just our mental health, but our physical health as well!
This is my second year to attend and I am once again encouraged and inspired to keep singing the song that God has created me to sing! To keep doing what I do, even when it doesn’t fit into a box or into an easy job description. One of the things I love about the Story Gathering is the creativity of the theme each year and how they bring us into a story through that theme. This year they are inviting us into the story of Alice in Wonderland, and reminding us that we too are invited to go down the rabbit hole into a world of wonder! We too, as story tellers, can bring that sense of childlike wonder to our friends, family, and to the places we live, work and lead. We can change the world by sharing good stories and telling good stories!
What story do you want to tell to the world? How do you want to tell it? Through art? Through music? Poetry? Preaching? Instagram? How can you experience a bit of story wonder this weekend? I encourage you to find a good story to watch or read. Or take time to investigate one of these speakers and be inspired! Take time to write a story of your own! Take 20 minutes and tell about your favorite childhood game (one of the questions we were encouraged to share with someone we didn’t know during Kevin Carroll’s talk) or what is your favorite food memory from childhood. Write it down and share it with a friend!
I’d love to hear your story!