Have you ever wondered how to tell your story?
The other day, I was listening to my new audio Bible in the car. I’ve resisted audio books my whole life, but I recently decided that since I spend time in the car every day now with the kids in school, I should get an audio Bible and use some of that time listening to the Gospels.
Well, you know how a story you have heard a hundred times can suddenly strike you in a new way? As I was sitting in the school pick up line, the story of the Samaritan woman in John 4 jumped out at me, and I realized that she is me.
Here I was, before 2014, living my Protestant life. I thought I knew what Catholics were and what the Church was about. I had encountered Christ first in the Protestant churches, and my opinions and attitudes were formed in that context. Rooted in the Reformation, I had history, friends, and firm beliefs stemming from Luther and Calvin. I had a community, and I knew where the Gospel was truly preached.
Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem. John 4:20
Never did it occur to me to seriously question the basic assumptions of the Reformation. Not once did it cross my mind that I was the Samaritan woman, confident in my context but, all unknowing, on the wrong side of a tragic divide between people who strove to serve God in spirit and in truth. She didn’t choose to be a Samaritan – she was born there. She knew nothing else. It wasn’t her fault. She inherited the mistake of others.
So it is with rank upon rank of Protestants. The Reformation was 500 years ago, friend. Generations have gone by, and children born and raised in Protestant families and Protestant churches have no inkling of the treasure that was lost at the Protestant revolt. (Incidentally, this is why the Church is gentler to her separated brethren than in years past. It’s a very different thing to be a Protestant now than it was in 1520.)
Then comes the Samaritan woman’s response once she sees the situation from a new perspective, after Jesus said to her, “I am He”:
The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said to the people, “Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Messiah?” John 4:28-29
She didn’t know everything. She wasn’t even sure herself. But she had encountered Christ, and the next thing she did was to run and tell everyone: “Come and see!” And at first some believed because of her – but then they believed because they encountered Christ for themselves.
This is a first century equivalent of convert blogs, my friend. When a Protestant, or a none, or anyone else has that moment of encounter, where suddenly our world is turned upside down and nothing is what we thought it was – you get a convert blog. Or when years of study and wondering finally coalesce into certainty – you get a convert blog. This is our village, and this is how we drop our water jars to run and tell everybody: “You GUYS. We had this all wrong. Come and see! No really, you just have to see this!”
And not only that, but converts have something to offer the rest of the Catholic Church, too. Just like first-century Jews, sometimes cradle Catholics forget what an amazing, miraculous, incomprehensibly beautiful treasure they have. It’s only natural – they may have been born and raised with it and not really know life without it. It can be the job of the convert to just stand there gaping, or maybe jumping up and down in giddy excitement, to give lifelong Catholics a fresh look at their own ancient faith.
This is how converts can join in the New Evangelization.
New Series: How to Tell Your Story
I was deeply moved by the Samaritan woman’s story. And here’s the thing: you, too, have a story that might help someone else. Maybe you just need a little help to know how to tell your story. That’s why I’m introducing a new series here at the Green Catholic Burrow, all about the nitty gritty of different ways to share your faith in our online world. We’ll talk about the details and the how-to of sharing your story in your own way:
- social media
- traditional publishing
- and more.
Whether you want to learn how to tell your story once and then get back to your life, or you’ve always dreamed of starting a professional blog, or something in between, there will be something for you in this series. And if there is something you are wondering about, drop me a comment or email me anytime. I love hearing from you guys!
Also, because my own blog was birthed out of a need to both tell my story and also find ways to supplement our family budget from home, we’ll also talk about working from home, in general and specifically as a blogger. (And if you are currently looking for ways to supplement or replace your income from home, here’s a sweet little freebie to help).
Speaking of free stuff, click here to grab a free printable of St. Teresa Benedicta’s quote, below!
Have you told your faith story publicly? Please share how you did it!