Insight is defined as the faculty of seeing into inner character or underlying truth. As a writer I must constantly look beyond outward appearances to seek the truth, the inside story. Like the rings of a tree, the story is hidden. I learned this lesson recently at a dinner party.
“I have a lot of stories,” my dinner companion said leaning forward over her plate. The party around us seemed to recede and her eyes grew more intense, “Yes, I have many, many stories.” She didn’t look like a woman with “stories.” There was no indication in her smart dress and pulled together look that she had led anything but a charmed life. But there were the stories.
She told of growing up in an eastern European country and being exiled with her mother and grandmother at the age of two. Between bites of broiled salmon and cranberry salad she told a story of her mother, a pianist, spending ten years in a labor camp. And then she told the story of her separation from her own daughter who was in the United States when martial law was declared. Three years later she saw her daughter again. Time stood still as we talked.
Hidden within a tree, each ring symbolizes a year of life. Years of drought, the ring is small. Years of plenty, the ring is wider. We hold inside of us our stories, the thin rings, the thick rings. The good times, the bad times are written in our brains and in our hearts.
“I have many. many more stories,” my new friend said as she left and I knew she had spoken for us all.
May I always look beyond appearances to see the inside story.
Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7
Betsy Duffey writingsisters.com