I was at a meeting this week where we were asked to swap our stories with the person we were sitting next to. Story telling is widely recognised as one of Christianity's main tools. In order to engage with each other our faith is often represented by the recounting of a story of some kind.
Telling a story was the way Jesus laid down the first roots of faith in the parables told to enhance a particular ethic of goodness and lots of examples can be found in all four gospels.
So at this meeting we were asked to swap our own personal stories of faith.
The person sitting next to me had had a very stable upbringing, born to Christian parents and having also produced her own off spring to follow in her way.
My story was very different. Having lived with my grandparents during the war my first experience of worship was at the local Welsh Baptists. After the war I went to the near by Unitarian chapel until during a slum clearance scheme my family were given a house on a new housing estate.
After visiting three new churches, Roman Catholic , the Methodist chapel and the Anglican I then settled happily into the Church of England which "stuck" for life!
My partner was completely surprised by my having been a Unitarian....I explained that the concept of one God was still one of the planks of my own peculiar faith. She didn't get it...so I made a joke about my having difficulty with Trinity Sunday...and there the exercise ended..
But having to sum up my growing faith in five minutes or so focused my mind unexpectedly...
It was odd I suppose...I hadn't really thought about it like that before...
I am now the sum total of all these faith experiences for which I am grateful...the three very different sorts of Christianity still live on in me and give me rather strange roots... Having to sum it all up in just a few words has given me a lasting moment of both questioning and acceptance. Thank you God...just the one .