Everybody has a story. Some people have a lot of stories. When I was in school at CTU I came to realize that the stories that most of us have today are really no different from the stories that people have always had. We all have stories to tell that revolve around deep emotions like love, grief, loss, betrayal and family. Often times they are mixed together in a kind of "emotional soup". The stories can define our life, shape our faith, set our course or become occasions of great clarity. It is a benefit for us to share our stories with someone who will listen and respect us and sometimes it is our job to become the listener with no judgement. One of my dearest friends has this amazing ability to reflect back on my stories with not a hint of judgement. Now that's a talent. I feel lucky because I am able to put the stories on paper (so to speak). When we trade stories there are lessons to learn and healing to be given.
Whether you realize it or not, telling your story or becoming the listener for someone else is a form of ministry. Jesus used "the story" (parable) all of the time. As a matter of fact he elevated the ability to listen and understand to a point of spiritual maturity. Be respectful of the stories both your own and others'. You may be doing a greater spiritual work than you actually realize.
The disciples went to him and asked, "Why do you talk to them in parables?" "Because," he replied, "the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven are revealed to you but they are not revealed to them. ... The reason I talk to them in parables is that they look without seeing and listen without hearing or understanding. So in their case this prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled: