Peacocks and Graffiti.
Both creative expressions, beautiful in their own ways. Both tell a story.
Made by human hands, graffiti is a passionate plea to be seen and heard. Whereas the peacock is a humble, majestic expression of our creator’s hand.
Both tell a different story, both beautiful in their own ways.
The past few months, I have been thinking about how fortunate I am to be able to tell stories. Hearing only bits and pieces of the big picture, I am drawn in immediately and captivated by the courage people have to share their life. I think everybody wants to know that their life has meaning, that their story matters.
Being a writer of other’s stories has made me wonder what mine would look and sound like from the outside. When you are busy living your life, it’s hard to know what others see and what others can glean from your life. It is what I hear most when I interview someone: “I didn’t think anyone would care?” “I didn’t know that anything I was doing mattered?” People living their lives unaware that they are affecting others.
Graffiti gets noticed. It tells a story in loud, vibrant colors, letters and shapes. There is no denying it. It won’t be hidden behind a rock but it will command your attention from the side of an overpass or dumpster. The story is man-made. I know a little something about man-made stories. Much of my athletic career is a man-made story. I worked hard and scrapped for every bit of success I set my mind to. I set goals, I met goals.
When I was just ten years-old, I saw the University of Texas women’s volleyball team play and was in awe. I wanted to be just like them. Powerful, athletic, strong women. I immediately found my idols. I soon discovered that some of them were called “All-Americans.” Right then and there, I needed to know what that was.
As soon as I figured that out, I was determined to be one. I didn’t really know how I was going to get there, but I was going to be one. To be called an All-American some day shaped my story at a young age. Although there is no denying that God can use every single bit of our story, this part of my story is mostly man-made. Bent on success and pursuing a single solitary goal for me and me alone, I was driven to be successful as defined by the world. It didn’t disappoint.
The Peacock gets noticed. It tells a story in loud, vibrant colors. There is no denying it. It won’t be hidden behind a rock, but will command your attention by spreading his majestic feathers. With a thousand little eyes, the peacocks feathers tell a story of creation – of beauty. The story is created.
Over the past fifteen or so years, writing has been a hobby of sorts. Always one to prefer essays to multiple choice tests, writing was just a better way for me to get information to my professors. I struggled to choose just one good answer on a multiple choice test, but words? Words opened up the information I had stored in my head and allowed me to express it much better.
Most of the writing I do now has come to me because of persistence and hard work. But mostly I think a created story in progress. The writing part of my story is not man-made. It is created. All of my experiences as an athlete, marriage and family therapist intern, wife, mother, Christian and now CrossFitter (yeah, I just said that) have come together to become bits and pieces of a bigger story – also in progress.
You see, I’ve always wanted my story told by man. I wanted to know what people thought and what they would say about me. But now, I don’t care too much about that. God is busy telling my story and God doesn’t need words to tell it effectively.
He doesn’t need a paint can and he doesn’t need the cover of night to tell the world about me. He can tell my story with humility and grace and truth and hope. When we surrender to the story being told by our creator, it unlocks serious power in our lives.
My power is telling people’s stories. I am ridiculously humbled and grateful to get to do that. It makes me the happiest.