Sunday, November 19, 2006

Story Corps

I listen to NPR. I’ve listened to it for years. I think I started listening in college in my more radical days. I’ve listened through my children’s growing up years. When I cook dinner in the late afternoon, I listen to All Things Considered. One of the kids even said once that whenever they hear the ATC theme music, they imagine the smell of onions. I guess I sauté onions a lot when I cook. Funny how that radio sound and cooking smell are associated in that child’s mind.

In the morning, when I get back from walking, depending on my mood, I either start the coffee in the coffee maker or put the tea pot on the stove. While I wait for it to get ready I putz in the kitchen and listen to Morning Edition.

NPR is where I get my news. One of my sons gently ribs me for that, but that’s OK. It’s the only place I know to hear news stories about Congo or Malawi or small town America. And I don’t really mind hearing news with a slant. It helps me to be discerning and think about the point of view of the media. I think we should listen to everything that way, aware that all news outlets have a bias. No one is completely objective. We just have to listen and think.

But news isn’t really what’s on my mind right now. What I want to write about and share with you is my very favorite feature on NPR. Every Friday, Morning Edition plays clips from the Story Corps project, an oral history project that records the lives of ordinary Americans. My two favorite recordings this past year were the love story of Annie and Danny Perasa and the story of a Father’s best work, his four daughters. Both of these stories are stories of weakness, tenderness, and deep love. I was in tears both mornings as I listened, and both stories have stayed with me. I hope I have the kind of tender love for my husband that Annie demonstrated. I also hope, after hearing George Caywood, that my children will be able to say, when they look back on their growing up years, that my “no’s” to them were “against thousands of yeses.”

These stories give me concrete pictures of ways that people live their lives and they help me to reflect on how I want to live my life. As with the news, of course, I have to be discerning when I listen to other people’s stories. I don’t listen and automatically say, “I want to be like that.” I listen, am moved, and then reflect on what has been said. I hope I am a noble Berean, taking everything I hear and testing it against God’s word. And then I desire, humbly and prayerfully, to live a life that is worthy of His calling, filled with those qualities that come from the indwelling of God’s Spirit. I fail often. But stories, these and others, help me to get up and keep walking.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a


Anonymous said...

I love StoryCorps, too! I'm glad you put these links in, because I often miss it.

And you're right...I think the truth lies somewhere in the giant gray area between NPR and FoxNews! We have to weigh it all and listen with discerning ears!

Anonymous said...

By the way, don't forget to listen to TWO HOURS of our dear lady Lynne on Thanksgiving morning at 11:00!