Friday, October 2, 2015

Always Tell Your Story

I heard her say it often.  "If anyone asks me to tell my story, I say yes."
Christina loved her story and she loved the opportunity to tell about her amazing God.  It is important to know that this was never easy.  She didn't love the limelight.  She was not a natural public speaker but she could capture an audience with her humor and candor.

Who could forget her reference to how her buns tingle when she's nervous.
Or the time she said, "If I have a little seizure while I'm talking, don't worry.  My mom will fill in and I will be back soon."

I remember when her church in Portland asked her to speak at a women's event.  I thought that she would be giving a ten minute testimony of some kind but as it turned out, she was the main speaker for 400 women.  She sat in a comfy chair and told her story.  It was a beautiful night.  The challenge to all the women around their tables was to have a discussion about how they could trust God in the middle of the difficult situations they found themselves in.  I loved Christina's courage and her message.

Christina also talked to small groups.  I remember her meeting with a group of high school girls in Pasco, Washington.  They had been following Christina's story through my sister, Loralee.  When we were passing through, Loralee arranged for them to meet Christina.  Those girls never forgot that evening.

She gladly stood in front of large and small congregations and told about her journey with Jesus.
She spoke at a few Christian schools--gladly sharing what a life of faith looks like in the middle of a big trial.

Playing at a friend's wedding
I had the privilege of standing in for her once after she had gone to heaven.  Her uncle Russ had written a piece of music for the Hanford High School band.  It was a piece inspired by Christina's life.  The students fell in love with Christina.  They read her blog.  They read my blog.  I received a call that they were going to perform the piece for the last time--could I come?  I almost said no but then I realized if I hopped in my car immediately I could be their by concert time.  (It was a 6 hour trip.)  I arrived an hour before the concert.  Russ asked if I might say a few words before they played the piece.  I heard Christina, "If anyone asks, say yes."  The love of those kids was obvious as I walked up on stage.  I told them that Christina was just like them. She spent a good part of her high school years on a stage performing with an orchestra.  Then I told them about her "no fear life".  About her faith in God.  They loved that.  I heard from some of their parents about how appropriate that message was for them.  Then they played their hearts out.  Amazing.

A couple of months ago, I was approached about an event called "The Faith Puzzle."  I was asked if I would be willing to be a part of the evening which would be concerned about the problem of pain and suffering in this world.  It would be an opportunity for sharing Christina's story and my story.  I heard Christina's voice in my head.  "Always be willing to share your story."  So, I said yes.

The Faith Puzzle is an event over 4 weeks that deals with the problem of faith.

On October 18th, Jesse and I will play a little music (classical and celtic fiddling) while slides of Christina's life scroll behind us.  One of the bonus features is getting to play a little music with my son, Jesse.  That is a rare occurrence these days.  It promises to be a beautiful evening.  Thank you, Tim, for asking.

Christina and Jesse

It's another opportunity for Christina to impact.  I could never have predicted the ongoing telling of Christina's story.  She has now been away for 2 years and 4 months.  I am so thankful for the continued impact of her life.  I am looking forward to telling you all about another huge opportunity next summer.  Her story will literally go on the road--across the nation.  

To God be the Glory!