by Heather Tietz
I have told you these things, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have oppression; but cheer up! I have overcome the world.
Stories. They’ve comforted us since childhood when we listened to grandpa’s memoirs, sat under the spell of a movie, or cuddled up to a parent with a book. They are an escape for our mind. Sickness, sadness, stress, oppression of all sorts take a back seat to a great story.
One of the most joyful hymns ever written is a great story. The irony of it is that it came out of sickness. The author, Katherine Hankey, was born into a well to do family in England in the 1830s. But instead of simply remaining aloof to the needs of her time, she was involved in organizing Sunday School groups for all classes of society. She aided her missionary brother in South Africa as well.
But when she was thirty all her business stopped. She became very ill. Yet as her body suffered through sickness, her spirit thrived. She wrote the beloved hymn “I Love to Tell the Story”, the Jesus’ story. It is His tale of heartbreak and redemption, with puzzles, prophecies, and all the pieces of an excellent thriller.
Jesus’ story has captivated people’s hearts for thousands of years taking them out of their oppression, of whatever sort, and giving them peace. Katherine Hankey knew that telling Jesus’ story, remembering it, reading it, meditating on it would turn her weakness too, into peace.
Ponder His story. Speak it. Sing it. Absorb its peace.