Since I've been home, I've told a lot of stories around our dinner table. When I finally pause to breathe at the end of each story, Christina has looked at me and said, "And then did you find five dollars?"
Every time she's said it, I've boiled with anger and frustration. The desire to rip off her head has increased with every smart alec comment that could be translated to, "That pointless story was a waste of my time."
I think that may be why Max Lucado's A Love Worth Giving has resonated so well with me, the queen of pointless stories.
In the chapter "Your Kindness Quotient," Max talks about Christ wanting to hear your story. The example used is the woman with the bleeding problem whose story is found sandwiched in Mark 5.
Basically she's been sick for years and years. She was out of money, and everyone told her to be out of hope. But she wasn't. She had the faith to believe Jesus could heal her, so she went to find Him.
Of course, He was busy. The daughter of a city leader (Jairus) was dying, and Jesus was on His way to perform a miraculous healing. This woman didn't want to take up Jesus's time, so she slid behind Him in the crowd and touched the hem of His robe.
Instantly she was healed and ready to go on her way. Jesus wasn't going to let her get off that easily.
"Who touched me?" He demanded.
Can you imagine the disciples' response? "We're in the middle of a crowd and You wonder who touched You? A million people! That guy there, this woman over here, but I was the one who stepped on Your foot. Sorry. Come on; let's go!"
Christ was adamant, and the woman timidly came forward. If it was me, I'd be ashamed of the ruckus I'd caused. Maybe she was, but she was also healed.
Max writes, "A girl was dying, people were pressing, the disciples were questioning, but Jesus... Jesus was listening. Listening to the whole story. He didn't have to. The healing would have been enough. Enough for her. Enough for the crowd. But not enough for Him. Jesus wanted to do more than heal her body. He wanted to hear her story--all of it. The whole story" (26).
It blows my mind that we have a Savior who is willing to hear every story we tell. He's not even disappointed when they're long and pointless. He'll never ask if we found five dollars. If the story is important to us, it is important to Him.
I saw a prime example of this years ago at a concert meet and greet crowd. A little girl came up and cut me in the blob of a line. Of course, at the time I was annoyed but years later I'm glad to have witnessed such a beautiful moment.
The artist, Peder Eide, leaned over to be at her height, put his arm around her, and held his head next to hers in order to hear her over the crowd. I couldn't hear what she was saying, but I knew it was intense because every once in a while Peder would draw back to make eye contact with her. As her story drew to a close, he started gently asking her questions. The crowd pressing for his attention no longer mattered; he wanted to know more about this little girl.
When she was done and he was done asking questions, Peder looked her in the eye and said, "Thank you for telling me that. I'll be praying for you."
Christ's waiting for you to tell Him the whole story. The crowd of people lobbying for His attention vanishes when He's got His arm around you listening to your story. He's willing to sit there and talk with you for as long as you want. He'll stay until your story is complete, even if it's long and boring. He'll ask questions and carefully listen to the answers. When you're done, He'll say, "Thank you for telling Me that. I'm sure it wasn't easy."
Sit and talk. Let Him be your Audience of One.
The non-monetary amount you find will be worth a whole lot more than five dollars.