The Olympics


The power someone's personal story holds over your attention is astounding.

A number of times I've turned on the Olympics because, well, it’s the Olympics  - those epic international games that draw the world together to celebrate the ideals of sportsmanship, excellence and competition!  It's a cultural ritual... like watching the Super Bowl, wearing green on St. Patty's, apple pie and voting out incumbents.

So... several times I turn on the tube and the programming is coverage of some obscure sport (Skeleton? Curling? Ice Dancing? Biathlon?) or some event I’m not particularly drawn to like Men’s Figure Skating Short Program and I’m thinking “I could care less”,  but before I can find which cushions the remote is tucked between and switch channels they do the story/bio/human-interest piece on one of the competitors and suddenly... I'm captured... I'm now the featured athletes biggest fan, cheering like crazy and ultimately in tears whether they win or lose.

The power of a person's story still surprises me!

I remember a gal I viewed as pretty spacey. My read was that she was tethered to some other world that, in terms of social interaction and meaningful relationships, made her, essentially a martian in this world. She, astutely, picks up my "I could care less about you" vibe and initiates a meeting with me to talk about it. We're at Starbucks having a cup of joe and the opening ceremonies start with her telling me all about her work and weekend - yadda, yadda,  yadda and just before I find which hemispheres of my brain the remote is tucked between and hit the power/attention/"Who cares" button she has begun to share some of her story. In mere moments I'm captured by her biography of betrayal, neglect, dismissal and abuse. She, vulnerably and softly shares of a season in despair and speaks of God rescuing her and of an ever present craving for friendships she's never known.

My coffee is cold and I'm stunned by my sin - so ashamed of my unloving interactions with her - and I wonder, again, why I've judged a book by it's cover...

In the same instant I'm now one of her biggest fans, wanting to cheer her on like crazy!!!  It's incredible how quickly our hearts toward another can shift!

Story is the language of the heart. Listen to another’s story and you'll understand them… you'll feel compassion for them, you'll end up being one of their fans...

I'm so glad I didn't change the channel. 

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