In recent weeks, my journal has been filled with prayers and petitions on the behalf of others. Situations that are very real, circumstances that have broken hearts, trials that include threats as seen in the movies yet are happening in real life. Words that, if released before the present scenes were fully complete, could even endanger the lives of others. In short, I live among the words of a story that is not mine to tell. Those words affect me deeply, but I am only a supporting role, not the main character. My perspective is my own, just as surely as the story belongs to another.
While movies and plays make a great stage for narration, there are other places where journals of privacy are the only theaters where the drama should be played out. Because the telling is filled with real pain, real temptations, real sins, real struggles, real failures. And I do not own the rights that allow me to present the tale from my point of view. For I am not the director. I am only a bystander watching another’s life unfold – for better or for worse.
As much as I want to change the past scenes of the story, I am powerless to so do. Words already spoken cannot be taken back again. Acts already committed cannot be undone. Some scenes have firmly settled into the pages of history, as unsettling as that is for me to accept. Mistakes have been recorded in the hearts of others, forming scars that are too deep for my ministrations to touch.
So what am I to do? How can I overlap my own story into the story of another and change the scenes that are yet to be lived? How can I help turn the painful plots into chapters sprinkled with hope and peace? How can I shine in my role as supporting actress while a friend leads the way in an impromptu performance that is sometimes shocking with the depths of its hurts, the complexities of its challenges?
Only by pleading for the mercies that are new every morning and flinging my arms around a measure of grace that is available with every moment of living.
By gently leading another to the truth that I have already found and reminding them that this same truth is meant to be found by them, too.
By showing them that their life is part of a much greater Story.
By pointing them to the One who fulfills the Lead Role with character – a character that is wholly trustworthy and always honorable as He seeks the welfare of everyone involved in this story.
By encouraging them to build a relationship with the One whose hands stretch out to grip them tightly throughout every part of this performance of life.
Some stories may not be mine to tell, but they are always God’s to lead. And they are all opportunities for me to shine His light brightly and extend love into the dark recesses of every scene, even if it is as simple as providing a short respite of comic relief.
Take heart, dear friends. Your story is far from over, and this present scene that seems such a struggle to conquer is merely moving us toward an ending that is promised to be glorious. But don’t just take my word for it…