For those looking for a creative devotional, Story: Our Journey of Heartache and Grace from Eden to Evermore might be for you. It seeks to take the big picture of the Bible and present an emotional, resonating portrait of the gospel. The story is expressed creatively, for the most part, in a series of chapters. The text incorporates poetry, prose, and photography. Some of the prose--or narrative--is creative. For example, it retells Bible stories through the eyes of different Bible characters. It is pure fiction--almost like a drama skit. But some of the narrative is nonfiction. The author, for example, shares stories from his own life. And some Scripture is incorporated as well piecing together the gospel message.
While I had some issues with the theology in Story, just a paragraph here and there in a couple of chapters, I can see strengths as well. The poetry is powerful, for example. And while reading poetry isn't my usual way to discover or grasp truths, I can't deny that some of it is quite thought-provoking.
Story is more mystical than the books I usually read, which makes it definitely out of my comfort zone. It may not be for everyone, but, for some I think it will be a good fit.
The sunrise of Easter had its origin at the dawn of time when darkness fled before the words of God. (21)
oh, in the beginning,
when you were alone,
did you dream of someone like me?
in the beginning, from soil and stone,
when you breathed out a world to be...
did you dream a great dream,
did it glisten and gleam,
for all of the angels to see?
in the beginning, in the depths of your heart,
were you thinking, already,
prophets yell because
their hearts are on fire.
they scream at the world
trying to wake us up.
they can't help it.
God is in their throats. (67)
When Jesus was born, the Word of God became flesh, enmeshed in a story. The storyteller entered the tale. The author stepped onto the page. The poet whose very words had written the cosmos became part of the text of this world. (81)
When Jesus came to earth he brought along the folktales of heaven. He didn't lecture like a professor but told fables like a bard, weaving tales of another world into the fabric of human lives. (83)
i don't name you, you name me.
i don't understand you, you understand me.
and the paradox of this love is that you uncover me
as you unveil yourself. (87)
To really understand Easter, I think we need to hear the barbed tails of the whip sail through the air. I think we need to picture Jesus's blood-stained tears soaking into the sand. But more than anything, I think we need to feel the rising terror of this moment. Jesus has been abandoned by the Father because we followed in the steps of Eve. Don't turn away. Hear the painful cries of this man now, or you won't hear his invitation later. You can't accept his love until you realize his sacrifice. Each step he took, he was taking for you. Each splinter stinging through his skin from the rugged cross on his shredded back, he took for you. Each wound he felt crying out in his soul, he accepted for you. Each thorn had a name on it. Yours. He knows of no other way to save his beloved than this--to experience hell in her place, dying at her hands. At my hands. And it causes me to tremble. (147)
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible