In the fourth grade at San Tomas Elementary School we had what was called, “Show and Tell”. We did Show and Tell each Monday morning in our class. Kids would stand in front of their classmates and share what happened to them over the weekend. Sometimes kids would demonstrate a new skill they had acquired or show the rest of us a really cool birthday gift. I am sure this exercise was created to develop our communication skills and to open us to a wider world through the experience of others.
I was raised in the home of a contractor. Dad worked hard all week long and on the weekends he liked to go places with his family. Dad was an outdoorsman so we found ourselves hunting or fishing in some new spot on many of these expeditions. Dad’s Chevy Apache pickup truck had a small camper shell on the back so he would have mom sit up front with him and my brother and I would jump in the back and let dad lead us on to our next adventure. These adventures would happen a least a couple of times a month and served as my stories for the Show and Tell time in class.
My mother shared with me one parent teacher conference with my fourth grade teacher. At the end of the conference the teacher raised a concern. She said, “Garris has a very vivid imagination and I am concerned he may be living too much in a fantasy world.” My mom said, “Please give me an example.” The teacher went on to describe my last Show and Tell. My mom said, “Well, that is actually true.” The teacher brought up another example. “That is true, also.” After the teacher exhausted her list of examples and heard my mother say, “All those stories are true” the meeting was finished.
I told this story to create a context to share what I am sensing the Lord wants to do in the Church. The Church can do many things that are honorable and heartfelt, but lack a storyline that is unbelievable. The world is waiting for us to share a testimony that is unbelievably true. An unbelievable story is one that can only be told if God shows up and does what only He can do. We call these stories a testimony of signs, wonders and miracles.
As the New Year approaches the Lord is asking us to join Him in His exploits in the supernatural that when shared within our distinct cultural context, will seem unbelievable to our hearers. These unbelievable exploits will require that we step out from our religious routine and follow the leading of the Spirit into unfamiliar territory where the unbelievable stories of faith are waiting to be told.