Before Christmas, my niece emailed and asked if I could gather my brothers and sisters and write some stories about her father from his short life. It is the 2oth anniversary of his death and she was only 2 when he died so she did not know him at all. I immediately forwarded that email to my older sister who in turn compiled stories from our family and some of his college buddies. It was great. As I watched her and her mom sitting together on Christmas Day, laughing and crying, I realized just how great it was for my sister to actually go the extra mile and compile those memories into a small booklet. There was one story in particular that 3 of his siblings wrote that had 3 completely different angles and yet all contained the same message. It's funny how we hear the same stories and yet translate them differently.
As I read William Mills book, A 30 Day Retreat, over December, I was reading the chapter for Day 22 and he expresses the same idea about the four Gospel writers. "The gospels are stories of faith. Each Gospel contains the entire truth about Jesus the Son of God, but in slightly different ways." "Matthew, Mark, Luke and John provide us with four witnesses to the preaching, teaching and miracles of Jesus Christ. Likewise, the four Gospels contain various teachings, sermons and healings, yet they all emphasize one important fact: our discipleship in Jesus' name."
Maybe this helps me to realize that it is not so much about the story itself as the the lesson from the story. The way we remember, the way we read, may all be different but in the end, when the last chapter comes to a close, it's all about the message.