V. The Power in the Story

by valerie shultz


July 15, 2011

0853 hours

I know I journaled a few hours ago, but I don’t want to forget this.  It feels significant in some small way.  This morning at breakfast David Fiala was again talking, and I have quickly learned that he is a story-teller.  He tells a story about a man in the states – In Iowa – who works with missionaries, and has done amazing things.  David describes him by saying this man tells stories, because he knows there is power in the story, and I wonder if David recognizes that he shares this quality.  He is a great story-teller.  I have a feeling I could listen to him for a very long time.  Yesterday I was lucky enough to have a short walk with him and asked him how he chose this part of the world to serve.  He told me the story of how it seemed to seek him more than he it.  It was inspiring and it was evident of God’s work in his life.

The conversation between David and those of us within ear shot continues, and I feel a touch on the top of my foot, where my lily tattoo is.  David wants to know about this tattoo, and I can tell immediately that he is not a big “tattoo person.”  There are two types of people- tattoo people and not tattoo people.  I explain my tattoo briefly, thinking he was just curious but not realizing he has a larger purpose for asking.

I go into a deeper explanation for my tattoo, and what it represents, and I show him my other tattoos and explain them.  I can tell he cares about what I have to say in a genuine way.  He goes on to tell me that this region of Europe is not big on tattoos, and not to be surprised if I get some strange long glances at them.  This is okay.  I get those at home sometimes where it seems like my entire generation must surely have been born with at least one tattoo because they are so common.  But he goes on to tell me what is important, what he was getting at from the very beginning.  He tells me that if I have the opportunity to “witness” using my tattoos, that he very much wants me to do this.

Especially regarding the tattoos I bear on my wrists.  On my right wrist is a cross, representative clearly of my faith.  On my left wrist are angel wings, and I explain to David that I lost my dad when I was twenty-one days old, and lost my uncle when I was thirteen years old, and recently lost my sister-in-law.  I believe in angels and can’t help but believe that my dad is somewhere looking down on me, getting to know me even though I never had the opportunity to get to know him.

David looks at me again and says, “Witness.  If you get the opportunity, please witness.”

I will.  For David just proved to me there is power in the story.  Ironically, tomorrow, David will also say that some things are “insignificant but powerful.”

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