If you heard my sister and I describe our childhoods, you would have no idea that we lived in the same homes, with the same parents!
If we wrote our life-stories, they would look very different.
When a friend and I took a day out to the sea-side, weeks later we reminisced over our outing. He described the arcades, the cars, the picnic I bought and the train time-table; but I remembered the beach, the seaside town streets, the wind on the pier and the hunt for a public toilet that cost me 20p.
If we had written our account of the day, they would have been very different.
What we witnessed were specific aspects of the day.
I am often amazed at this phenomenon – how two individuals together can seem to see completely different things and sometimes have almost opposing perspectives on the same event.
We see it, hear it, taste it, smell it and feel it through our own personal senses and we interpret the whole experience according to our personal understanding and preferences.
Where I’m going with this is, being a lover of stories, I often encounter scenes where witnesses are called upon to ‘tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God’ but the account they say they witnessed often looks only vaguely like the one shown in the story.
Every witness has their own perspective.
The witness may not be lying, but they are only telling the part that they witnessed and remember.
The gospels are like this too.
Reading the four gospel accounts of major events in the life of Jesus, we see the different focus and perspectives of the four writers. We also see the stories told for the interest of the particular audience they were addressing.
At Christmas I particularly like to read Luke’s account. He was not an eye-witness of the events leading to the birth of Jesus, but he told the stories handed down by those who were eye-witnesses.
I particularly like the focus on the prophecies of the angel Gabriel and the prophetic praise of Elizabeth, Mary and Zechariah.
We are obviously not witnesses to the birth and death of our Lord Jesus, but we have each witnessed the saving grace of Jesus in our lives.
You may not thing your story is very exciting, but you are an eye-witness to the transforming power of God in your life.
Your story is a unique perspective on the character, beauty and power of God and yours is the story that you need to tell.
Only you can tell your story, for the glory of God.
You are His witness in the world in which He has placed you, for such a time, and such a purpose, as this.