We hear the word story quite a lot these days. And while it may be one of the many buzz words we love to drop on occasion, I happen to be one of those who believe that all of us have one, and that no matter how ordinary your tale may seem to you, how unremarkable it may appear, in the right hands and shaped with the language suited specifically to it, including tone, voice, movement, and so on, every story has the stuff to enchant in its own way. Continue Reading…
He was despised, and rejected of men… Isaiah 53:3 ASV
THE WORD NEVER CAME UP IN CONVERSATION. It came all by itself some time later. It’s just not something that was told to me upon my first inquiries into the faith. Sorrow has lost its place in our modern school of spirituality. It doesn’t sell. It’s rather a thing to be ‘fixed’ in someone. For the affluence of this latter age has told us different things about ourselves. And we have believed every pleasant report.
SHE WAS CONSIDERED LITTLE MORE than a sect of Judaism. That didn’t last. How could it? She was young and she made noise. Her voice was soft and yet she was heard above the rattle of all the old arguments, above the shuffle of old beards. The life that drove her was new and strange. Bustling, effervescent, without muzzle or restraint. It just wasn’t Jewish enough. She was eventually asked to leave.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. —Psalms 139:23-24, NIV
I AM NOT SURE IT IS POSSIBLE TO KNOW SOMEONE, or at least to know them well, until you have some idea what is below the surface. As frightening as that prospect can be, good biography is driven by this very principle. In Majestie: The King Behind The King James Bible I disclose the life of an emotionally damaged boy king. It is often the ruin and spoil of a life that make the best stories—the complicated and often disturbing psychologies, the trip wires, the Judas in someone’s blood.
But you pay a price to venture these depths. Or you should. I did. Continue Reading…
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no-one may boast before him. —1 Corinthians 1:27-29, NIV
GOD’S ELECTION IS A PECULIAR THING. He seems to favor the inglorious, the unremarkable. I am grateful. There are countless examples of this throughout Scripture. Israel is one. David is another. Anointed as a boy, it would be years before David actually ruled anything, including himself. And I won’t comment on David’s breeding rites, or his tireless quest for connubial beatitude, but you’ve got to love the guy. If he is messy, and he is, he is also glorious. If he is a man of blood, he is also a poet of the first order. If he is untamed, if he is a bit uncivilized, he is also a man after God’s own heart. The irony is delicious.