If We Know The Stories We Can Erase Time
Derek Maul
by Derek Maul
Published on July 20, 2022

If we know their stories we can erase time

By Derek Maul

All Jesus did that day was tell stories—a long storytelling afternoon. His storytelling fulfilled the prophecy: I will open my mouth and tell stories; I will bring out into the open things hidden since the world’s first day. Matthew 13:34-35 (The Message)

In today’s column I want to share one of those young and old, history and future, yesterday and tomorrow, grace and promise, past and possibility photo combinations.

As I write the words I can’t help but notice how it is not “history verses future” but “history and future”. Community is necessarily inclusive, not oppositional. This is an important semantic distinction, because (look at today’s social/political conflicts) the words that we use become the way we frame our thinking, and the way we are influenced to think pretty much determines the way we act.


This combination of photographs also illustrates the direct connection relationships give us to an amazing span of history. Beks, at eight years old, is the same age my mother was when World War Two started, and Nazi bombs fell around her East London home. When Beks turns 90, the year will be 2103 and she will have direct, first-person stories to share from a child who lived in the 1930’s!!!

All of this, however, depends on relationships, and communication, and listening, and inquisitiveness, and – most importantly – deliberation and intent.

Stories do not belong to the world and its collective consciousness until they are told; and even when stories are told they have no power unless someone is listening; and then these amazing stories are not gifted to history unless they are repeated.

If you are reading this and you are young, then please seek out people your grandparents’ age and ask them to share their stories. First prepare to ask good questions, then either write or record what you learn.

I often hear people say, “I gave my parents… grandparents… great-grandparents one of those directed journals, but they never filled out more than a page or two…” Good grief, people! Those books are supposed to be a conversation! You don’t just leave it with them like homework!!

Okay. Enough said. You know what to do. – DEREK

In love, and because real love translates into action – DEREK

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Derek is a North Carolina-based writer, journalist, teacher and speaker. He is the author of numerous books on what the Bible reveals as essential in becoming a man of God.

He is convinced that his four grandchildren are exactly the hope and promise that this world needs. His conviction is important to understand because it reveals a lot about his theology, and how he believes our identity as God’s children plays out in the day-to-day experience of living in a world where darkness, disappointment, and defeat are all too common.

He is a committed encourager, and a pilgrim in progress. He divides his time between writing and traveling to speak about the fully engaged life. His passion is to connect people – men and women – with a more vibrant, authentic experience of what he calls “The Life-Charged Life.”

If you would like to read more, check out his author page at Amazon. Also check out his website and his daily blog.

Reading Between The Lines, With Derek Maul is published every Wednesday on Christian Grandfather Magazine.



  1. Russell Kendall Carter

    As a former professor of history, I always told my students to share their stories; without stories, there is no history!


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