Introduction to Narrative
I’m surrounded by people. I’m surrounded by stories and I wonder if anyone knows it, that they have one….
While living in the rural vastness of Nigeria, a young couple found out they were pregnant with their first child. Friends and family advised them to return to America for the birth, citing obvious medical care deficiencies and possible health risks.
Leadership Lessons from the Bovine
I grew up on the flat farmland of Kansas. From childhood, my brother and I learned the family business of raising cattle, and although I have since exchanged the feed yard for the city, my brother remains with my dad and grandpa working the farm.
The Making of a Minister
No one mourned his absence from church. The man had a walk and a manner like a toad, a high-backed slouch, and a burping contempt for his fellow parishioners. Arthur's mind, though uneducated, was excellent. He had written poetry in his day, both serious and sly, but now he used words to cut, slice into the hearts of all that he met. No one felt moved to visit him when he became housebound.
Except me. I was the minister, so sweetly young and dutiful. It was my job. And Arthur had phoned to remind me of that. But to visit Arthur was grimly sacrificial.
An older gentleman, revered by friends, family and community for his wisdom, learning, and knowledge, stood at the door of mortality. He’d lived long and fruitfully, but the overwhelming majority of his life here lay behind him. It wouldn’t be long now.
One of the man’s former students went to visit him recently, knowing that opportunities to talk with his mentor were growing scarce. After a few minutes of small talk, the student asked the older man a question, seemingly casual, but also curious: “What are you doing with your time?”
I was intercepted by three girls. I call them girls because the oldest could not have been more than fifteen. And the one in the middle said, "Mister, for $10 I’ll do anything you want me to do. I’ll do it all night long. Do you know what I mean?"
Let us construct a fable. Let us picture a woman thrown into a dungeon. There she bears and rears a son. He grows up seeing nothing but the dungeon walls, the straw on the floor, and a little patch of sky seen through the grating, which is too high up to show anything except sky.
As he sits there munching on his donut and sipping his coffee at 3:30, in walk eight or nine provocative, loud prostitutes just finished with their night's work. They plop down at the counter and Tony finds himself uncomfortably surrounded by this group of smoking, swearing hookers. He gulps his coffee, planning to make a quick getaway. Then the woman next to him says to her friend, "You know what? Tomorrow's my birthday. I'm gonna be 39."
Long ago in a land far away and unlike any you've ever seen, there lived a wise man named Shaddai. Shaddai was a large man with a tender heart. He had bright blue eyes and a long, thick beard. When He laughed, which is something He did often, His cheeks would lift until His eyes became half-moons of joy.
Years ago, a friend of a friend of a friend met with an exorbitantly wealthy Greek shipping merchant.
It Will Be the Same
The Captain had spent many evenings sitting with the boys, explaining the grayness and the meaning of color. According to the Captain, long ago a volcano had erupted, burying forever the colors of the isle in a mountain of soot.
As a result, Terrene was a gray island in the middle of a big gray ocean. Waves with gray tips slapped against beaches with gray sand. Trees with gray trunks sheltered gray-winged birds. Gray animals with gray eyes would peer from behind the gray bushes.
Pain of Healing
Years ago, a couple dined at a fine, upscale restaurant in Atlanta.
You Are Special
And all day, every day, the Wemmicks did the same thing: They gave each other stickers. Each Wemmick had a box of golden star stickers and a box of gray dot stickers. Up and down the streets all over the city, people could be seen sticking stars or dots on one another.
A reporter was covering that tragic conflict in the middle of Sarajevo, and he saw a little girl shot by a sniper.
The Song of the King
The three knights sat at the table and listened as the prince spoke. "My father, the king, has pledged the hand of my sister to the first of you who can prove himself worthy."