humans of ny


One thing that has been heavy on my mind is the power of storytelling. I have been thinking a lot about how stories shape us as humans, and how we are all drawn to a compelling story...regardless of whether we claim to be a believer of Jesus or not. Some of you may have seen the account @humansofny on Instagram. I follow them, and have been so intrigued by the concept behind the account and people's response to it. For those of you who do not follow the account, it is basically a guy that goes around New York City, and takes people's pictures, and shares their stories. There are people from all walks of life, ages, countries, and religions...all sharing stories. And you know what? This account has more followers than any other Instagram account I follow. They receive hundreds of comments on every picture they post...why? 

Well I think this speaks to something deep within us as humans...we desire to share our stories. We long to be validated, understood, and we long to be moved by something. We want our lives to mean something, and really count for something. We are captivated by knowing the stories of others, especially when they are exciting, or are where we want to be in life. Everything about life is shaped by stories, our social media accounts capture small stories to share with others, our relationships are full of conversations that revolve around stories, we lose ourselves in books, music, and movies that tell of fascinating stories...why do stories have so much power? 

I am not sure I can really answer that question, but what I do that stories awaken something deeply seeded inside our souls. They bring meaning to life. 

I fell that this is why Jesus always used stories to teach people lessons and truths. He could have easily taught lessons in a straight forward way like many did in that way, and do now, but rather he chose to tell stories. And not just any stories, Jesus chose to take things that people could relate to, a wayward son, the sower and his seed...he chose tangible things and gave them meaning beyond themselves by telling stories. 

Now, these stories caused people to cock their heads in confusion. They made people think in ways that had not before...they moved people. They stirred something up within them. 

So as I have considered this @humansofny Instagram account I have been amazed at how obvious it is that humans long for their story to be told. Don't get me wrong, that account captures alot of human depravity, and a lot of people that are working hard for themselves...but beyond all that I just have seen people. People long to live into a story that matters. 

Following this account has opened my eyes to people. They are all around, they all have stories to tell, and stories that they are trying to live into...does this make sense? As our pastor would say, "Everyone is working towards their version of the good life." Stories capture this.

So, this may seem like a post with no meaning, or maybe it has caused you to think differently as it has me. Either way, I think it is undeniable that stories have power, and have a way of allowing a connection to happen with others. So as I move forward as a blogger, I want this to be a place that stories are celebrated. I want to strive to write about everyday moments and the stories that the Lord reveals to me through moments on my front porch, or around my dinner table, or sharing a cup of coffee on our couch. I want to celebrate the gift and power of storytelling, and work on this skill of telling stories in a compelling and captivating way, that moves people closer to Jesus. 

What do you think of storytelling?