Yesterday, Cameron introduced us to The Story by opening up the creation story. In reflecting on creation, I had some thoughts about the upper story. Remember that the “upper story” is the story God is writing that is bigger than what we may see at first glance. Let’s look briefly at the lower story.
The lower story is that God created everything we see, feel and touch in six days and then rested on the seventh day. The lower story includes debates whether or not these are six literal days or representative of eras. The lower story includes debates about evolution, how did it all start and how old is the earth. Were dinosaurs created then? How old were Adam and Eve when they were “created”? It’s easy to get caught up in the lower story of creation – and sometimes fun also.
The upper story is a very different story. As Cameron said yesterday, the bible is not a science book and was never intended to be a detailed how-it-happened account of creation. The upper story is clearly seen in the very first sentence (page 1): In the beginning God. The main character of our story is introduced here and the upper narrative begins by letting us know who, not how. The upper narrative then continues by showing us that in all of creation, humanity is the crowning achievement – not the earth, not the heavens, not the animals…humanity…man…and woman. You are. I am.
No matter what your alcoholic father said about you, no matter what that teacher said about you, no matter what that boyfriend did to you, not matter how the employer treated you, you are important to God. When the lower story surrounding you says you are not worth anything, it’s vital to remember that God’s upper story says that you are not just good, but very good.
As I read The Story for Children to Graysen last week, this poem caught my attention:
You are my greatest creation.
Looking at you is better than looking at an ocean view.
Watching you run and play is better than watching beautiful animals dart across the African plain.
Seeing a smile on your face is better than seeing a sunrise.
You are my pride and joy.
When God wants to smile, I don’t think he looks at the mountains or the ocean, but rather he looks at us. Unfortunately, when I want to smile, I’d often rather look at the mountains. Got a ways to go.