Now this blog post, by the very nature of its content, is hard to write – though not for the reasons you may be thinking._ Not because it is painful to share, or of a controversial nature, but because it is about oral story – and orality is something that is rather unconventional to write about. During the middle of April, Iven and I had an opportunity to attend a weeklong training in Chiang Mai (Northern Thailand) with a group called “One Story”._ One Story is a project put together by several mission agencies whose main purpose is to take the stories of Scripture and make them accessible to people groups who either are unable or uninterested in reading._ Before going to this training we really knew very little about One Story, or what we were going to experience._ It was probably better that way. J_ During the week we had the opportunity together with about 30 people to “learn”, “tell” and “devotionally process” about 25 Bible stories – all in oral form._ Nothing was written at all…we weren’t even allowed to take notes and very rarely allowed to open our Bibles._ It was a powerful and alive method of interacting with Scripture._ Refreshingly ancient, storytelling is an art form that has been mowed over by our consumer culture of sensory overload and sound-bites._ Growing up with a dad who is a gifted storyteller (Iven confidently states that my dad is the best storyteller he knows) I have had an appreciation for oral storytelling from a young age._ When I began to lose my vision at age 16 that appreciation for oral story has grown even more, even as my ability to read printed material has dwindled. For most Western Christians, reading and engaging with God through written Scripture is one of the most essential and significant means of growing in faith life._ Over the last 12 years of my eye disease, and especially in the last two years, engaging with written scripture has physically become more and more challenging._ Participating in this oral Scripture storytelling workshop was enlightening and exciting on a professional level (I am confident it is a tool that will be very appropriate and accessible in outreach conversations), but I think it was personally significant perhaps to an even greater degree._ Hearing the True stories of God, told by people who really believe them, in a setting where we could celebrate together the parts of the stories that were wonderful and miraculous, and grapple with that which was confusing and strange was so powerful._ Powerful for everyone, but maybe especially powerful for me._ In a profound way, I feel like my proverbial eyes are opened to the wonder of hearing God’s stories in oral form , and I am no longer feeling limited to needing to strain my physical eyes in order to grow spiritually._ Indeed, Scripture itself speaks to the special experience of HEARING the word: “So faith comes from hearing the message, and the message that is heard is what Christ spoke.”_ (Romans 10: 17)