A story is always being told - the question is whether or not your voice is going to be a part of it.
There’s a statistic that gets thrown around in the world of branding that’s about 7 “touches.” The idea is that people won’t acknowledge or accept that you really exist until they’ve seen your brand (logo, text, whatever) 7 separate times. Until that magic number, they just look right past it and ignore it like it isn’t there.
Despite the biblical connections, the number 7 isn’t actually magic. What is a little bit magic, though, is the way the mind works. There’s a remarkable song by Sara Groves that has this refrain:
Tell me what you know about God and the world and the human soul -
how so much can go wrong and still there are songs.
The human mind is this wild place where connections are constantly being formed, and those connections weave a story. There’s no isolation in the mind, no singular events that don’t connect to anything else. There’s a story.
God (even more remarkably than Sara Groves’ song In the Girl There’s a Room) is able to watch and fully comprehend every one of those stories, all the time. He misses nothing - all the intersections past, present, and future are known to him - and he loves it. He loves the story of humanity for the same reason we humans do. It is his.
So, as we embark on the telling of the story of the new church on Greenwood Avenue in Seattle, and all the parts and pieces that are going to come along with it, and all the little touches that will make that story real for the people who are served by it, let’s not forget. The audience isn’t only the people who are going to take a while for the synapses to connect.
The audience is also God, who is paying close attention to every part of it.
That’s why, no matter how much goes wrong, we’ll have every reason to sing.
*The links in this post are dedicated to those fine folks, like my mom and Eben Stine, who got me into Christian music in the early 2000s. And, I suppose, to Sara Groves & the Smalltown Poets.