Monday, October 22, 2012

Change the Story..Change History!

Jesus and the great rabbis knew the power of a story.  In Genesis, creation comes in the form of a story. We are a story formed community and what people who are desperate need most is a new story for themselves.

In the 32nd chapter of Genesis an angel wrestles with Jacob.   Jacob, a dishonest rogue who has outwitted his bother and his dying Father getting both the birthright and the blessing of the first born, is the kind of guy who makes millions through slightly devious means and still has the audacity to fight with the Lord God Almighty for even more.  He hangs onto the angel, though wounded, and in the end the angel gives Jacob a new name which gives him a new story ---  He will no longer  be the scoundrel but will be one of the Patriarchs.  This ancient story reveals the power we have both  in naming (calling forth the best in someone) and in creating a new story, one that takes us in new directions. 

Teachers know the power of naming a child.  There expectations and words shape the ability of their students every day.  Could changing out story change this miserable bellicose world?  We must share our stories with one another for only when we do will our  civic engagement have the necessary civility, mindfulness, place and connection necessary for real democracy and ultimate peace.