Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Power of Story

Yesterday nine of us gathered for a Christmas celebration at my house--eight managers and one financial comptroller. We all work for a non profit agency--a Christian ministry to people with intellectual disabilities.

The day is a cherished Christmas tradition and part of it is reading a story or two out loud. I had been up until 3.00 a.m. that morning, writing my story. A year ago or so, I'd heard it from one of our support workers and the moment she began telling it, I grabbed a pen and scrap of paper and started scribbling notes as fast as I could. Then I tucked away the scrap of paper to write it down one day, but forgot about it until the eve of the party.

I've read it out loud twice since I wrote it, and both times, people who knew "Edith" the subject of the story, have responded the same way. It triggered memories and a flood of other stories about her. We laughed as we remembered her ability to quickly defeat an untried greenhorn, we voiced respect at her masterful control of her environment and affection for her endearing qualities and the way she won our hearts, even as she wore us out.

Someone asked, "Hey do you have the CD Rom with the slide show shown at her memorial service? The slides were set to the song, "I'll See You in September." (Edith passed away in 2003 and the song was one of her favourites) I found it and we gathered around my laptop to watch the slides and reminisce.

Those of us who knew her, laughed and remembered. Those who didn't, listened, and wished they had.

I pondered with wonder her impact on all of us--this woman who the world counted lacking in gifts to give.

(I will post the story I wrote, tomorrow)

Luke 6:20 (New Living Translation)

The Beatitudes
20 Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said,
“God blesses you who are poor,

for the Kingdom of God is yours.

1 comment:

Irene said...

When I read "Edith" I thought Shirley....her alter ego. While on a tour last Friday I came upon a woman with a doll that she clearly loved and memories of "Edith" were upon me like flood. My first day in the Christian ministry you wrote about was the day I met "Edith". I credit her much with what I learned in the 11 or so years I had the privilege to share in her life (and her in my education). The fabric of heaven has a bit more gold in it.