Pinterest A Grateful Life Lived: Stories from Chicago

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Stories from Chicago

This post was supposed to be written on Thursday.  I would've opened with a description of my current surroundings on the Megabus, bound for Chicago.  Alas, you get what you pay for, and the bus was far too crowded to pull out my laptop, let alone focus.

Amidst the reverberating rap music and details on insurance claims, I stole a few minutes of sleep before a high-pitched squeal indicated that we had reached the Windy City.  The short nap would be enough for fuel me through the first evening of the Latino Film Festival, the wonderful reason for my short weekend adventure.  I had come with my Spanish class to witness the 32nd annual celebration of Latino culture through filmmaking, something I would never have pictured myself doing in the past.

Sure, I love Spanish-- emphasis on the 'love'-- but I often let caution take the reigns, and the idea of going to Chicago with classmates I didn't know that well, would've terrified my in the past.  But with an air of confidence, I descended from that Megabus, gracefully tripping on the curb as is my custom.  Since the movie was not until 9 p.m., I had a few hours to kill and I immediately took off for the Magnificent Mile with some girls from class.  We checked out a few shops, but my attention was waning due to relative disinterest and sticker shock.  I broke from the group and meandered into the more eclectic shops.  Before long, I had inevitably turned the wrong way.  And in the process of passing by four Starbucks, two cathedrals and a myriad of school children, I was stopped in my tracks by the beauty of humanity.

The city has a way of doing that, with it's crowded streets and honking horns.  It brought my heart to a stop as I thought about all the lives that stacked into those skyscrapers and hurried through the streets.  I tried to imagine their stories, the reasons for their quirky outfits or kind eyes or worried glances.

The collective mural of faces still resonated with me that evening as we settled in for the first film.  This story was one of family, one that was torn apart by vain passions and pursuits.  And even as the action played out, I found it hard to watch. I abhorred the egotistical son and couldn't stand the lackluster husband, and I grew tired of their story.

But how beautiful it is that the Lord does not grow weary of our struggles.  Unlike us, His divine grace pours out time after time, chapter after chapter.  For me, this plays out very clearly in the way He called the disciples.  One by one, He slipped into their story and took root in their lives.  And as each of them doubted Him, failed Him and betrayed Him, He remained invested in their story.

And how beautiful, indeed, that He is invested in your story as well.  Your scene might be dismal and your countenance may be worn, but Jesus has never left your side, my friend.  He never grows weary of your struggles for He is strong to save, mighty to deliver and close to your aching heart.

So whatever borough of the city you find yourself in today, remember that the Author of your story not only has a plan for good, but He is invested in you every step of the day.  And one day, every plot twist and heartbreak of your story will culminate as praise, flanked by every story of mankind.  And every story that ever was, will lift up the Lord who always is, and what a beautiful day that will be.


Ps. Stay tuned as I roll out more posts about the fun stuff from my trip, as well as what I'm up to next!  As always: I love to read your comments and suggestions :)

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