Doug Creamer: What is Your Story?
Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 19, 2020
Everyone I talk with has a story about how the coronavirus has affected their lives. High school students miss their teachers, classmates, and all the activities at school. Many employees are missing their jobs. I don’t like seeing the store shelves look so empty, even though I can normally find everything I need. I know we all miss finding toilet paper.
We all have stories about other major events in the past. My parents have told me that they remember exactly where they were when they heard that President Kennedy had been shot. I remember that I was at a DECA competition when I heard about the Challenger explosion. Anyone who lived in this area can tell you their Hurricane Hugo story.
I had just started teaching at East Davidson High School when 9/11 happened. I remember so many specific details from that day and that time in our lives. For the next 17 years of my career, I told my students about the impact of that day. I remember asking the students every year, “What grade were you in? What was your reaction?” Every student had some kind of story. In my final year, I had students who were not born before 9/11.
For today’s students, the coronavirus will be their story. When they are grandparents they will tell their grandkids about how schools were closed and the fact that they did not get to have their senior prom. They will talk about being told to “stay-at-home.” They will remember a time in their lives when it was hard to find toilet paper. Maybe some of the younger students will appreciate their schools and teachers a little more.
I have talked with several pastors who have said that this will impact the way we do church in the future, not to mention how we are changing the way we do it now. I can’t imagine standing at the pulpit with an empty room and trying to deliver a passionate message. When you can’t see your congregation, how do you know the impact of your words?
One personal impact that I have noticed is that I have checked on my neighbors and friends more in the last month than I had in the previous six months. I have called or texted my family (since I can’t go see them) more often in the last month. I am praying for more people and trying not to limit my prayers to protection from the virus. I find myself seeking the Lord and asking for more of His presence in my life.
When I get the opportunity to talk with friends, neighbors, and family, we all have stories about the impact of this virus on our lives. We want to tell our stories to each other. It helps in some ways that we are all going through this together. We need to keep reminding ourselves that we will all make it through this thing together.
This reminds me that we have another story that we all need to tell, especially during these troubled times. We have the story of how our Savior has impacted and changed our lives. We want to share our coronavirus story. We should have the same excitement over sharing our faith story. We should want to tell our story to our friends, family, and neighbors.
Jesus is the answer for our world today. He has helped me make it through not only this virus, but so many other situations in life. People need to hear our story of how Jesus helped us make it through in life. People need to hear how our faith has become stronger and has been a source of strength and comfort. People need to know that God is real and that he cares deeply about their circumstances.
The doors of many people’s hearts are open. We have an opportunity to have an impact on our communities if we will tell our stories. We can show the world God’s love by demonstrating it through our lives. We have to believe that God can use us.
I want to encourage you to tell your story. The people in your life need to hear about the love of God. They need to know that God is on their side. They need to know that we serve a God who heals and forgives. They need to know that we serve a God who has a good future planned for His children. They need to know that they can join the family of God. We need each other and we need to tell our story.
Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or firstname.lastname@example.org .