This summer I had an opportunity to speak to a group of international students who are working in America for the summer. I asked if any of them had a tattoo and if they would be willing to share their story as to why they got it. Immediately hands went into the air. Everyone wanted to share their story. Tears were shed. We laughed together. We were knit together by our stories. I watched “community” being birthed. It was beautiful.
This of course gave me the right and opportunity to share why I got my tatto of David’s name in braille. More tears were shed. We laughed as I told stories of David. We were knit closer to one another. I became a part of their community. It was beautiful. Oh, the power of a story shared!
One of our favorite parts of a parent’s weekend away with David’s Refuge was asking a mom or dad the question, “Hey, would you be willing to tell us about your child?” We simply asked them to share their story. Almost immediately the floodgates were opened up. It was as if they were simply waiting for someone to take the time to simply listen to them. We cried, we laughed, and we were knit together. And all it took was someone bold enough to ask the question, “Would you please share your story?”
This is why I chose to place my tattoo on the inside of my right wrist. I wanted people to ask me, “Hey what are those dots on your arm?” It gives me the right to share my story, and it also gives me the opportunity to ask about their story. I think everyone is waiting for someone to ask them to share their story.
So I challenge you! Ask someone to share their story with you. Make sure you have the time to listen. Be prepared for them to say, “I don’t want to.” Don’t let that stop you. Be prepared to laugh, cry, and become closer. Your story is a great one and it needs to be heard.