Saturday, March 20, 2010

I've a Story to Tell

Yesterday I was wondering a lot about whether I should keep telling my story in this blog or beyond. I got a really nice comment from someone that meant a lot. I didn’t really expect a lot of comments. I was just trying to be honest about how I felt. It was a legitimate question.

I have this amazing memory. I don’t take it for granted. I realize that memory is a powerful gift. Like all powerful things, it can be a mixture of blessing and curse.  There are many times I wish I didn’t have such a good memory. Often I wish I could hit some button and clean the hard drive of my brain or at least defrag. Memories that are painful don’t leave a person with a good memory either.

My memory causes me to remember names of people from my long past. Every so often a name will pop into my head. Now in the days of google, I can google them and see what I find.  I was trolling memories last night.

From previous such activities on Facebook, I had found the children of the Sunday School teacher I have mentioned a few days ago. One that I baby-sat for when she was a pre-schooler is now is a grandmother. I decided to send her the link of the blog. It seemed to bless her. She told me how her mother’s active faith continued throughout her life.

Then in one of those odd chain of internet events, I stumbled on someone else I remembered from my childhood. I imagine I am long out of their range of memories. I saw pictures of them when they were teens and thought of Camp Challenge. I remembered whom one of them dated. That started me thinking of that family. My mind kept hopscotching through memories of people whose lives interacted with mine and who helped me become who I am.

I guess we never realize the impact we are having on people. People who have long forgotten the third child of Olav and Elsie Johannesen of Brooklyn NY float on my memory and remind me of a rich heritage that I have. I see some of their faces again. It reminds me that I too have stamped my influence on those I’ve prayed with, ministered to and taught. Maybe they will someday remember me and wonder what ever happened to me.

Last night I found the other Sunday School teacher, Fran, on Facebook. I’ve friend requested her. I’ve found my first boyfriend from Camp Challenge – I didn’t friend request him. I found what appears to be his ex-wife who was a childhood playmate and daughter of one of my mother’s closest and dearest friend.

I continued to fish my memory of people I’ve known. I thought about the Vikse family of Staten Island. I still remember the name of the street they lived on, Gansevoort Blvd. While they worshipped in Brooklyn, they lived in Staten Island. I thought they were rich because they did. To me anyone who didn’t live in Brooklyn and who owned a car must be rich. Many years later, I drove on Gansevoort Blvd in my own car and realized their house was not a mansion.

While I told the story of Helen and the full gospel businessmen’s meetings, I didn’t mention it was a tall Norwegian named Simon who prayed with me along with a short Italian woman named Bruno.  So many things I could say about my memories of the Vikse family. So many trips to camp, so many times at church, so many warm memories – all too many to share. Most of my memories were from afar, impressions indelibly impressed on my memory. 

What did find on google about Simon and his wife Helen. Ironically through the mouth of their grandson, I heard the answer to my blogging/writing question.

I have a story to tell. I have experienced the gospel in unique ways. I am a gospel story. Jesus wrote in red on my life making a living epistle. I will tell my story. 

I love to tell the story, 
For those who know it best 
Seem hungering and thirsting 
To hear it like the rest. 
And when, in scenes of glory, 
I sing the new, new song, 
'twill be the old, old story 
That I have loved so long.

I love to tell the story, 
'twill be my theme in glory, 
To tell the old, old story 
Of Jesus and his love. 


  1. Face book is amazing for linking up with old friends. Due to moving around frequently with a major corporation over the years, we left many good firends in many towns behind. Some we do still keep in touch with but not as frequently as we should.

    I miss that friend ship.

  2. Joyce
    I've said it before but you have a very rich heritage and an excellent memory which translates in words that bring life and enjoyment to those who read them.
    It is like a spring that has opened up in you to finally write these down, so that you can share them.
    I think it takes a big person to share not only the pleasant memories but some of the painful ones you experience as well.
    My "advice" to you is to keep writing and in turn touch the humanity of your readers and to encourage them to realize that they too have a story to tell.


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