Thursday, March 31, 2016

Your memoir: Like the sound of a bell

Two Horses
(author unknown)

Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it. From a distance, each looks like every other horse. But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing. Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him. This alone is amazing.

If nearby and listening, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to her halter is a small bell. It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her.

As you stand and watch these two friends, you’ll see how she is always checking on him, and that he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray. When she returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, she stops occasionally and looks back, making sure her friend isn’t too far behind to hear the bell.

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.

Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell of those who God places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others see….

Your memoir can serve as a “bell” for others.

We think of the sound of bells as pleasant, lovely. Bells chime in times of celebration.

Write stories to remind readers of all that’s good, to remind them they have reasons to celebrate. Write to cheer others and warm their hearts and inspire them to walk with a spring in their step. Write to brighten a person’s day.

Write to give someone a smile, or even a belly-laugh. God blesses and teaches through hilarious incidents and humorous encounters and comical blunders—and who knows? Maybe someone, through your story, can learn to laugh again.

Sometimes God hands us pure joy—surrounded by a crowd of loved ones, or maybe in the presence of just one kind person or kindred spirit. Demonstrate that through your stories.

Bells can also sound warning, get our attention, demand action.

The author of the above piece wrote: “God…brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.” That could be your role, helping others in need of guidance:

Your stories can sound warning by letting people witness the ways you messed up—your rebellion, foolishness, fears, immaturity, poor judgment—and inspire them to avoid the mistakes you made and the heartaches you suffered.

Like Jon Acuff said, “Sometimes God redeems your story by surrounding you with people who need to hear your past, so it doesn’t become their future.

Someone needs to hear your “I once was blind but now I see” story, your “Amazing Grace” story: Someone needs to know how God forgave your sins and cleaned you up and helped you stand tall and gave you a second chance.

So sound those bells! 
Write your stories!

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