Posted by: Kara Luker | May 15, 2023

Living Stories

Last week, Chase was grilling me about my writing to discern whether it is a job or a hobby and decide whether or not I should be allowed to do it on our family’s tech-free-Tuesdays. Since I write inconsistently and don’t get paid for it, we agreed it’s currently a hobby.

“But I’m trying to write a book,” I said, “which would make it more of a job, right?”

“Well, yeah. What’s the book about?” 

“It’s a memoir,” I explained. “I only have a little bit down on paper but lots of it written in my mind, which obviously doesn’t count.”

“Why not?”

“Well, no one can read it while it’s still in my head, right?”

“Haha, I guess not.”

Which is clearly true. While a mental seed is the necessary precursor to everything I write and sometimes I even let it grow and take shape in my mind, it still has to work its way from the inside to the outside through the sometimes-arduous writing process for others to be able to read it. 

How true that is of our lives as well. Paul tells the Corinthians: “Clearly, you are a letter from Christ… This ‘letter’ is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.” You guys, we too are a letter from Christ, written by the living God. Who wouldn’t want to read that story? 

And yet so often we let it stay on the inside where the transformative love and power of God can’t be seen and “read” by others. I don’t say this to guilt any of us into trying harder to be good people who represent God better. That just sounds exhausting and we’ll never get it right. But I think there is an important piece in surrendering to His process and allowing the radical transformation we’ve undergone by receiving His love and forgiveness to work its way first through our understanding and then outward into our lives. I can’t help but think that’s a story that people will gravitate toward. Like the way Moses was drawn to the burning bush that wasn’t consumed. 

Again, I’m not talking about being good church-going folks dressed in big smiles and our Sunday best. But about people who are so rooted in the relentless love of God that when disaster strikes, we stand in the hope that God will redeem even the worst of circumstances and use them for our good – and for the benefit of others, because His light swallows up darkness. We grow in peace when the world is falling apart around us and fear seems like the natural response because we know we are secure in our Father’s care. We take no offense when judgment or rejection come our way because we live from a place of undeniable acceptance. We reach out with compassion and self-sacrifice toward those around us, whether they are deserving or not, because we grasp the reality that we too were (and are) undeserving of the costly, boundless compassion given to us. This is the story written on our hearts by the Spirit of the Living God. This is the story we were born to tell. 

I’ll leave you with the words of Horatio Spafford who, after the death of his son and his financial ruin that resulted from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, lost all four of his daughters in a shipwreck in the Atlantic. These are certainly not circumstances anyone would envy, and yet I think so many crave the story of unshakeable security told in this hymn he penned on the way to meet his grieving wife…

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, (it is well),
With my soul, (with my soul)
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life,
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
A song in the night, oh my soul!


  1. You are a bonafide grace-giver, Kara, so memoir away!

    • Thanks, Mitch! Now I just need to borrow your work ethic to get it done 🙂

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