how we tell our stories

And if, in the process, we decide to tell stories, then, like the preacher as peddler, we may tell stories about ourselves as well as about other people but not, for the most part, our real stories, not stories about what lies beneath all our other problems, which is the problem of being human, the problem of trying to hold fast somehow to Christ when much of the time, both in ourselves and in our world, it is as if Christ had never existed.

Because all peddlers of God’s word have that in common, I think: they tell what costs them least to tell and what will gain them most; and to tell the story of who we really are, and of the battle between light and dark, between belief and unbelief, between sin and grace that is waged within us all, costs plenty and may not gain us anything, we’re afraid, but an uneasy silence and fishy stare.

– Frederick Buechner, A Room Called Remember

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