Despite the fact that “eyewitnesses” usually screw up the details of what they witness, they do get the big picture: they know it was a bank robbery, a car accident, a outpouring of power. And then, too, repetition tends to solidify an account, like one miracle after another.
II Peter 1:15-16
And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things. For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
Peter was “all in” (the new phrase moving through contemporary churches). While accompanying Jesus he was a doubter, a slacker, and a chameleon even, but once the Christ was revealed fully through his death and resurrection, he got it. It was just at the point when his world fell apart that his world fell together. And there was no turning back. There was only forward and the story, that one story that everyone had to hear.
In the same way that people recount eye-witnessed tragedies over and over again(the falling of the twin towers, the floods, the tsunamis, etc.), so also would transformative experiences be on the tip of the tongue. We remember because we tell the tale. Families reminisce at the dinner table and stories live on, memories are stirred, feelings are reborn. Where there was joy, joy is recreated (and the same for sorrow, but somehow, the sorrow is more tempered by time).
What is my story? Isn’t my writing part of this process? Remembering, reviewing, reliving. Re-re-re… again and again.
Thirty plus years ago, I encountered Peter’s same Christ, and it was real and true and life changing. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.