Or Good Authors Like Details
I admit that I used to leopard crawl through my Bible. It was a forced exercise that I had to endure in order to get to the other side i.e. being a good Christian/going to heaven/insert whatever it may mean to you. Trying to stay awake through most of it was an almost futile exercise, but I pushed through because I like to do the right thing.
Anyway, the day came where I just couldn’t take the ‘dryness’ of it all. I was doing okay in the epistles (the short bits near the back) because they were full of good advice and theology – like a good textbook, and I like good textbooks, most of the time. But the rest – it was a dusty, brittle history book written for a stern, sepia-faced audience from another century.
I have been blown away . . .
Now when I read a passage, it’s as though I’m watching the movie. I see sunset orange framing a tree’s silhouette, I see the guy chewing a grass stalk as he watches someone hijack his donkey – and he’s wondering why he doesn’t stop the broad-daylight thief, I see women with hips and boobs and buttocks, and men with sand in their sandals. In fact, I was SO shaken the first time this happened, that I stopped to check if my marble bag had a hole in it. But I continued to read, not because it was difficult and the right thing to do, but because it was just so good.
I had heard preachers and other Good Christians (that ‘other species’) talk about how God’s Word ‘comes alive’, but I never knew what it meant. I think I now know, and He is a really cool author. I clicked the FOLLOW button a while ago, and it’s the best group I ever joined.
Back to the topic. So, I’m reading through the history books in the Bible, where Israel and Judah are continually turning away from God (talk about slow to catch on – even I sometimes feel I’m doing not-too-bad when compared to that crowd). Much of the stuff I’ve read before, but it’s okay now because I ‘see’ the little details I never saw before.
And King David? Yes, we know all about Goliath and Bathsheba and so on (stifle your yawn).
Then I reach the part about Abishag. What an unfortunate name for a really hot babe. (Yes! It says she was a looker). Her name means something along the lines of ‘a father’s error’.
I don’t know of a single instance of the name being used for a modern baby girl. “Hey, Abi. What do you do?” That would totally ruin her life. But her reason for being in the Bible at all is this:
David is now so old that he can’t keep warm; and some other things he can’t do anymore, either. His servants heap duvets and blankets on top of him, but it doesn’t help. If electric blankets had been invented, we wouldn’t be having this discussion now. And these servants really care about their king, so they devise an amazing plan, that only a bunch of guys would devise (very late on a Friday night, after the wineskins are all empty). They search the entire country for a hot babe (who has to be a virgin) to keep the king warm. That means – dear, pious readers – that she had to lie with the king, not in the Biblical sense, but boobs against his back, and keep him warm. What considerate employees David had.
And he was so old that he couldn’t have sex with her.
It says so. Okay, it says he didn’t. But we know enough about David to know that it means he couldn’t.
I was so tickled by the images that presented themselves to me. If you read the passage (1 Kings 1 – I dare you) and think about it for a little while, you see that God is not a dry, yawn inducing, boring inspirer/storyteller/history recorder. Most of us would have left the passage out if we were compiling a history of David. But the Author knows that little details add to the big picture. Unfortunately, most of us are craning our necks so hard to see the big picture, that we miss the delightful details right in front of our noses.
So, I am going to continue to be inspired by God (Yes, Him!) in my writing. I’m going to look at the finer details, the sand in the sandals and the sweaty palms (or is that psalms?). I am not going to obsess over ‘right’ but rather stick with ‘true’. And there is a big difference, for all fiction writers. And it is an especially tough balancing act for Christian fiction writers.
So, if you ask me who my fave author is, He is.
Click LIKE and then FOLLOW. I did.