Re-enter Eugene. Shortly after grad school, I began working with Eugene, turning his doctoral dissertation on narrative truth-telling into a workshop designed to help people discover God's purpose in their story. During the development process, I discovered God's purpose in my story. This experience changed my life, and I saw clearly what I'd always known tacitly: God is beyond propositional truth-telling, and so is truth, and so is story. All of the knitting, unraveling, and loose endings that had gone on before added up and helped with this plot turn in my story of story.
As Eugene and I presented that workshop at our church retreat, and as I helped people discover God's purpose in their story, I sensed again that nourishing dinner-table communion in which stories knit people together.
Finally, just as Grandma had clarified that "a blessing" is not a baked good, God the Author has clarified that "story" is a blessing.
Jadell Forman is a writer and illustrator, compiling her stories into several books, including Good Shepherd, Guide Me: Field Notes from a Shepherdess, about growing up on a sheep farm, and the metaphor of God being our shepherd. She sometimes blogs here.
Copyright © 2011 Books & Culture. Click for reprint information.