Hear the (W)hole Story

Why is it that so many people see other perspectives and experiences as a threat? And why is it that we also tend to fill in holes and gaps in stories with whatever the path of least resistance offers us?

As a person with a philosophical bent, I can admit that in most cases, I like the idea of something bigger–the idea that there is a greater meaning to everything that happens and so, I probably, as much as the next person, see–or at least try to see–a bigger picture.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

But as someone who knows what it’s like to have people look at a part of who I am and make up a whole story about me, I realize that while it may be comforting in many instances to look for the higher meaning, when it comes to people’s stories it is important to remember that while it can sometimes be accurate to consider that the whole W-H-O-L-E is greater than the sum S-U-M of its parts. For the sake of engagement, we should consider that it is also sometimes accurate that the hole H-O-L-E can be greater than some S-O-M-E of its parts.

In other words, when something is missing from a story don’t allow your brain to fill it in with wherever the path of least resistance takes it.

2 replies »

  1. …the perils of judging books by their covers…

    “What if God was one of us?” – a pop song from the 90s, but What if?

    Maybe take the parts you like and reject the parts you don’t. Except in this case, if he were a Jewish peasant standing in a grain field with his friends breaking the Sabbath comparing himself to the great King David of old, then he might just be hitting that nerve of contempt you have so much trouble with…. And you might very well choose to turn the WHOLE of God down in contempt.


    • The thing I love about the Jesus story is that it has been able to meet me everywhere that I’ve ever been—from the highest high to the lowest low. What I struggle with is that so many of us think we own Jesus and that we are gatekeepers of Grace.


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