AMONG MANY NATIVE people groups, tribal stories are shared within the tribal circle. If a story is to be shared outside the tribal circle, then permission is asked of those who keep the traditions. We do not profit from the things that belong to our people. There are many stories that are told only in religious settings. These are not told out of those settings.
Over the years, I have heard many wonderful stories. Some are tribal, and some are personal. Some are true, and would be wonderful to tell or write. Some, if written, would sell large numbers of books. When I have encountered these wonderful stories, I have encouraged those to whom they belonged to tell them or write them or to enlist the help of others in the process. I have encouraged them sometimes over a period of years. Other than that, I have treasured the memory of those stories, but I have never repeated them.
Personal stories, like songs, belong to individuals. Sometimes a song or story is given as a gift, and one becomes the bearer of the song or story. At the time of death, a family may give a story belonging to the deceased to another, who continues the story by telling it. There is a joke among Native people that we may “talk about” each other, but we never tell each other’s stories.
– Ray Buckley
Dancing with Words
From pages 3–44 of Dancing with Words: Storytelling as Legacy, Culture, and Faith by Ray Buckley. Copyright © 2003 Discipleship Resources. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
What story do you have to tell? Tell it to a friend, or write it for yourself.Share your thoughts.
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.
Romans 5:1-2, NRSV
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This week we remember: Patrick of Ireland (March 17).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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