Ready to answer? (@jacksdavie) #Story

Always be prepared…

I discovered last month that I find it easier to write to a theme. This month’s is testimony, or story, my God-story or Jesus-story if you like. This is surely important for every Christian, but people ask me questions about my disability. my illness, or my faith (or all three) on at least a daily basis. Questions including, but not limited to, “‘What happened when you were born? What is cerebral palsy? When did you have the operation which gave you a bag on your tummy? How can you believe in God when you have so much to cope with?’ Any of these questions are inextricably linked to my testimony. I will usually start from the question the person has asked me and fill it in from there. I once remember a retired minister called David Serle said that our ‘testimony’ was concerned with Jesus life, his death on the cross, his resurrection, and that we have been saved, cleansed from our sin and raised to live a new life following Jesus. The rest of it is our story, unique to each one of us, but as Christians we all have the same responsibility. “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15-16).

It’s good to share…

Over the years, I have shared my story, or parts of it in all sorts of ways. A presenter called Mike Rimmer read my story on UCB’s radio breakfast show recently. I’m also answering questions for my Gran’s friend who is writing a book on illness and faith. I am praying about new ways to share my faith online. Even if I do not explicitly mention my faith, it is at least in the background of everything I write in my blog, on status updates, or in tweets. I try to be honest about how things are going, in order to show in a realistic way what day-to-day life with a severe, life-limiting disability is like. I recently wrote in my own blog about 5 days that changed my life. I was overwhelmed by the way people reacted to it. Most people were just grateful I shared a part of my story. My “health story”, as my friend Tanya described it. Another friend talked of the importance of learning from each other too. For me, this is crucial, because it’s only by sharing our stories that we can understand each other, deepen our friendships, and support one another. Yes it’s personal, and some may find it uncomfortable. For me, it is important to push through the negative feelings because opening yourself up and exposing your vulnerabilities is worth the risk for the benefits it brings. I also have a category in my Blog called “this was the week that..”. This is a catch-all for all sorts of stories, and the various scrapes I get into, as well has highlighting one or two stories from the news each week. I’m praying that God to will use as He sees fit to bring glory to His name. Even this morning, an unexpected opportunity to share presented itself. I got a Facebook timeline post from someone I knew years ago, asking how I met Debbie Flood, an Olympian Rower who I had my picture taken with recently,as her niece would be jealous. Of course, then I was able to mention how I had heard Debbie speaking at church and what I had learned from her, without feeling as though I was forcing a conversation about faith.

New ways of sharing God’s goodness

Something else I once heard from the pulpit was that when people give their testimonies they explain how they came to faith but not how they are living out their faith now or what God is teaching them. It is a continually evolving story, which continues to have relevance and needs to be shared. I’m always keen to learn about other ways to share my story, especially online. When I have watched online events such as the multi-media, faith-exploration that was The Stations of the Cross‘ online service organised by Bryony, I have been inspired by voice posts, videos, animations, including with plasticine. I would quite like to learn about some of these ways of presenting and sharing my story, but at the moment I don’t possess the necessary skills. I am also looking forward to reading and responding to Twitter-feeds from the forthcoming CNMAC conference. I would have dearly loved to be there, particularly as there is a ‘story’ theme. I look forward to any new ideas this conference may bring about as to ways of sharing your faith.

About jacksdavie

Am enthusiastic about sharing my faith and have plenty opportunties to do this throughout my my week in person or online. I use three different sets of wheels to get around, most often my electric wheelchair and am also chronically ill. By God's grace I am carving out a ministry in the midst of it all between hospital appointments and naps.