Sunday, November 23, 2008

National Day of Listening

James writes, "let every man be swift to hear" (1:19). Five years ago StoryCorps launched what has become the largest oral history project in the world. Their mission is to "honor and celebrate one another's lives through listening." This Friday, November 28, 2008, has been declared by StoryCorps the first National Day of Listening.

The idea is to record and interview someone about his or her life. StoryCorp even has a place for you to upload clips of your interview for others to hear.

This is a great idea for people of all ages, but especially for children and grandchildren. In our times of family worship we recently started reading through Ecclesiastes. I was struck by 2:16 which says, "For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten."

Oral histories will not prevent this from happening completely, but they can provide wonderful ways for stories to be passed down from one generation to another. For Christians, the stories of God's grace in our lives may prove to be encouragement for our children and our children's children to "set their hope in God" (Ps. 78:7).

Check out StoryCorps. They have helpful tools that can assist you in recording the stories of someone you love and respect.


magnifygod said...

Thanks very much for the link. A few years back I was able to interview both my great-grandmother and my grandmother, and I was so fascinated by the lives that they lived and the things that they endured long before I was born. Theirs are stories that I hope to pass to my sons as they get older. Maybe this will help in doing so. You are correct about remembering how God has worked through our "life stories", also. The concept of remembering God's works in redemptive history and in our own personal lives is throughout the Scriptures.

Amy said...

Hi Tom,
Thank you so much for spreading the word about the National Day of Listening! Support like this means so much to StoryCorps.

After the overwhelming response to the National Day of Listening, we are hoping to pass on a new holiday idea: For everyone who did an interview surrounding the National Day of Listening (or are thinking about recording a loved one), making a copy of it and pairing it with a paperback copy of our book, “Listening is an Act of Love,” provides a meaningful touch to the holiday season, and gives that special someone even more incredible stories to read!

One of the stories from our book, about what a hospital chaplain discovered as she blessed the hands of her coworkers, was broadcast this morning. You can listen at: The book as well as more DIY recording tips can be linked to at

Thanks again and best wishes for the New Year!