I’m reading a very lovely book called Story by Steven James, a professional storyteller and poet. The book tells the story of Christ from creation to Easter with really beautiful language, imagery and poetry. I’ve been copying down the bits that really spoke to me. Here’s what I’ve loved so far, though I still have about 50 pages to go. (More to come once I finish, I’m sure!)
“I’ve held out the plastic, easy hope hyped by the preachers of a bargain-basement God when all the while, the hope God offers is raw and real and unvarnished. It rises through the centuries and reverberates in the hearts and souls of true spiritual pilgrims everywhere. This is not a cheap hope but a costly one. It’s a tearstained hope strong enough to comfort people who’ve watched their parents die, seen their dreams fade away, struggled with whether or not to have an abortion, or lived through a divorce. It’s a hope for the oppressed, the guilty, the haunted, the hurting, the forgotten, the abused, the mocked, the ignored, the lonely, and the overlooked. Workaholics and loudmouths and outcasts and spiritual fugitives like us.
“It’s a passionate hope, a real hope, a battle-scarred and yet victorious hope. Only a hope like that could ever conquer heartaches this strong and wounds this deep and pain as fresh as today’s headlines.”
“As in a fairy tale, they slept. Season after season, encircled by thorns. Sometimes they awakened for a brief moment nd changed their ways and returned to their first love for a while, but then, all too soon, they closed their eyes once again and dozed off as the thorns encircled them and tightened around their hearts.
“…Where is God in those times? Why is he so silent? If God really loves us with an everlasting love, with an unfailing and enduring and magnificent love, then shouldn’t he be more visible? Shouldn’t he splinter the silence more often?
“…God’s silence offers us the choice — faith or sight. We can either abandon our faith or learn to trust in the dark.
“…Maybe God knows that without his silences in our lives, we will never hear the melody of faith.
“…You can either give up on the silence of God or choose to trust him in the dark as Jesus did while he was dying on the cross.”
“I used to think I knew Jesus because I knew about him. But knowing someone’s resume and being someone’s brother are two completely different things. I found that out after I met Jesus for myself.”
“i lose myself in this
unveiling until there is
nothing left of me
“…’The difference between an admirer and a follower still remains, no matter where you are. The admirer never makes any true sacrifices. He always plays it safe. Though in words, phrases, songs, he is inexhaustible about how highly he prizes Christ, he renounces nothing, gives up nothing, will not reconstruct his life, will not be what he admires, and will not let his life express what it is he supposedly admires.'”
“I think the most successful lies are the ones that lie closest to the truth. They’re the hardest ones to spot because they look so much like the truth that they slip past us unnoticed. Then, choice by choice, we edge closer and closer to the forbidden. Through little lies Satan makes rebellion sounds so reasonable and compromise seem like no big deal.”
“I think we all reach the question at some point in our lives. A moment comes when we have to decide: Will I go my own way or God’s? Will I follow my path or his? Will I choose the sensible, practical route of doubt, or if my faith big enough to say yes to God no matter where it leads or what it means? Jesus faced that choice in the Garden of Gethsemane. It wasn’t easy. It was painfully, distressingly, achingly real. But he said yes to the Father.”
“judas betrayed you for thirty pieces of silver
forgive me for all the times i’ve done it
yet you’ve chosen to call me friend.
help me to live like it.
i’m both caputred and set free by
the mystery of your love.
“the greatest scars
are not found in wounded hearts
but in overlooked ones.
there is no greater pain
than the ice of loneliness.”