8.08.2014

Speak: How Your Story Can Change the World



So, I wanna tell you a little story.

A couple of years ago, I followed a link that a bunch of my friends had shared on Facebook. It was Sarah Bessey's essay called Incarnation. I had a visceral reaction as I read it, as though I'd stumbled onto holy ground.

And I had.

At first I wasn't sure I could trust a Deeper Story. It claimed to be a community of storytellers, but I was suspicious. Surely there was an agenda behind all that narrative theology, right? And surely that agenda was conservative and evangelical. It probably wasn't a place where, for instance, a woman ordained in a liberal mainline tradition could ever really belong.

I wondered that again when Preston Yancey wrote "Coming clean about the women in ministry issue," and said as much in the comment section. But then, six months later, he wrote about how he changed his mind. Nobody ever changes their mind about anything, especially on the internet. And yet there it was.

And there I was, a contributing writer for the new Deeper Family channel. Turns out there's a place for me in that community of storytellers after all.

The thing about a Deeper Story is that it isn't just a bunch of really talented storytellers who generate beautiful work. It's this gathering of writers and readers who all seem to have fallen off of different fences into the same field, and instead of running back to our tidy theological and ecclesiastical compartments, we mix and mingle and befriend and listen. Sometimes we even change our minds about things because of what we have heard.

All of this exists because of Nish Weiseth.

This is the origin story of a Deeper Story: "In January of 2011, Nish Weiseth decided that she wanted a place where she could talk about the difficult topics in Christianity and culture, but she was tired of reading nothing but heated, over-simplified rhetoric that did more to push people out into the margins than it did to draw them in. She wanted to start addressing these issues using the art of storytelling, but she couldn’t find a place on the web for her to do that. So, she built a place herself."

This week Nish released her first book, Speak: How Your Story Can Change the World. It's a wonderful book, and in many ways is the manifesto of the philosophy and practice that shapes a Deeper Story. I was honored to blurb it; when you read it, you'll see these words in the front of the book: “Nish Weiseth is a gifted storyteller, but the paramount gift of Speak is her invitation to tell our own stories: around the hearth, over cups of coffee, and along the path as we walk together in the ways of Jesus. I’m newly convinced that sharing our lives will truly change our lives—and the world.”

Look at this girl, being surprised by her bestie, Sarah Bessey, who flew to Salt Lake City for the book release party tonight. I can't even.



Congratulations, Nish, and thank you for inviting me to tell my stories, and extending that invitation far and wide. Well done, good and faithful servant!

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