Storyteller.

     I am a storyteller. When I hear those words, instantly I’m transported back to the library building, in that small half circle room, with a nice, kind voice, and kids squirming in their seats yet still leaning forward, hanging on every word, captured by the pages of the story. In a way, my occupation is similar. I tell the truth, bring to life the words and vivid storybook pictures on the pages, speaking to an audience that is distracted, who can be indifferent or enthralled, depending on which mood their minds decide to swing towards. But a storyteller is far more than a respectable librarian sharing innocent little stories to a room full of cute troublemakers. It means embracing the heavy stuff, the part of life most of us try to avoid. We all want the harbor, not the hurricane, and storytellers are that bridge in between, one foot planted firmly on both sides. Average people try to stuff their problems under the bed, rip up the papers and photographs and throw them into the trash, try to hide away from the pressure by escaping into the artificially sweet television reality, by blasting out those soothing, intense lullaby melodies, by locating a silver spoon and scooping out smooth ice cream. It’s not that storytellers don’t do that, they do. We’re human, we’re real, and yes we scream in frustration, throwing tantrums like an angry toddler and crying like the world literally just collapsed around us when we meltdown. We are walking train wrecks, plane wrecks, ship wrecks. Shot down, spiraling to the ground, a massive mess of twisted steel and derailed dreams combined in a jumbled jungle, run aground and ashore. But we also face the issues in a way most don’t. We confront. We are brave. We stand strong in our insecurity. We push past the depths of what is and swim through the sea of irrelevancy to unlock a glimpse of what could be. We walk through the tangled mess, the chaotic circus, the reality altering twisting storm, the burning down buildings. We wear our hearts on our sleeve, yet at the same time hidden under armor. Stripping away the layers until we uncover the beauty in the strikingly bare. Exposing the ugly and transforming it painfully, like Eustace the dragon and The Lion, Aslan himself, into a lovely scene. We don’t shy away from the pressing forces, but write and write and write until we run out of resources. Every soul has a unique portrait and we share every single side of it, every angle of this story. It is a messy story, but the broken mirror reflection traces of God’s glory. We connect and place onto a page those traces. This is what we do. This is a storyteller and I am one.

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