Buechner Themes

Our Shared Story

Christian author Frederick Buechner’s fiction, memoirs, and non-fiction parallel each other to describe how all of us share what, at the end of the day, is a common story.
In his memoir Telling Secrets, Buechner states: “My story is important not because it is mine, God knows, but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is also yours…it is precisely through these stories in all their particularity, as I have long believed and often said, that God makes himself known to each of us more powerfully and personally. If this is true, it means that to lose track of our stories is to be profoundly impoverished not only humanly but also spiritually.”
In his sermon entitled “The Two Stories,” found in Secrets in the Dark, Buechner says that not only do we humans share a common story, but God willing, we share it with Christ: “Yet they meet as well as diverge, our stories and his, and even when they diverge, it is his they diverge from, so that by his absence as well as by his presence in our lives we know who he is and who we are and who we are not. We have it in us to be Christs to each other and maybe in some unimaginable way to God too—that's what we have to tell finally. We have it in us to work miracles of love and healing as well as to have them worked upon us. We have it in us to bless with him and forgive with him and heal with him and once in a while maybe even to grieve with some measure of his grief at another's pain and to rejoice with some measure of his rejoicing at another's joy almost as if it were our own. And who knows but that in the end, by God's mercy, the two stories will converge for good and all, and though we would never have had the courage or the faith or the wit to die for him any more than we have ever managed to live for him very well either, his story will come true in us at last.”

What Others Have to Say

[Buechner is] one of our most original storytellers…[His] reader…feels as if he is being addressed in an extraordinarily personal way. Intimate, dignified and wryly humorous, Buechner’s voice turns us into listeners.
— USA Today

Journey on, Frederick Buechner. We need your stories to help us make sense of our own.
— New Oxford Review