Storytellers We Must Be

I saw a post a couple of days after the passing of Billy Graham that bothered me. In it, a young mom spoke of how her children and certainly their children would never know Billy Graham. I thought to myself as I read it, “Are you kidding me?” I wanted to post a reply to the post, but because I didn’t know the woman, I didn’t want to say anything. However, days later, I am still thinking about this, and as I read my Bible the other morning, a couple of verses stood out to me regarding this very thing.

“Our children will also serve him. Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord. His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born. They will hear about everything he has done.” (Psalm 22:30–31)

“Tell your children about it in the years to come, and let your children tell their children. Pass the story down from generation to generation.” (Joel 1:3)
We are a people who have lost the art of storytelling. We allow books, movies, and media to retell stories instead of talking amongst ourselves. We suffer in the communication department especially when it comes to speaking with the people who live in our homes and within our families. I notice this especially after spending time with my extended family. My children haven’t had the opportunity to grow up close to family so when we do have the chance to spend time with family; my children wonder why we just sit around and talk…for hours. Often we spend time catching up, but more times than not, we spend time reminiscing about something from the past…sometimes funny stories and sometimes stories about people in our family who are no longer with us.

When I saw this young mom’s post about her children not getting the opportunity to hear about Billy Graham, it made me sad, and a little mad. The Bible commands us to talk about things the Lord has done. Billy Graham was one of those things the Lord did (he raised up this young man to proclaim the Gospel around the world), but so have others. And so will others. If our children and their children don’t hear their names, we can’t blame anybody but ourselves. We can’t expect others to teach or talk about things the Lord has done if we are not willing to do it ourselves.

My son happened to have a famous American project he was working on last week in school. He asked me who he should write about? And guess who I told him to write about? Billy Graham. Our children should know about God from Genesis to Revelation as well as to the present day. I hear people all the time talking about Star Wars trilogies with their children (will those movies ever end?), sports legends, and other things that really don’t matter in the grand scheme. We find it much easier to talk about those things for some reason than to make the time to talk about the heroes of the faith (not just the ones in the Bible). As parents, grandparents, friends, teachers, and leaders, we need to continue doing what God told us to do…pass down stories from generation to generation and tell them what the Lord has done and will continue to do. 

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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