So every year I wind up writing scenes for VBA, or Vacation Bible Adventure. I take bible stories and I adapt them to these vignettes that we do one a day during the week.
I have done this for years now, and it has been one of the best things I could have ever done. God has used this writing to do some tremendous things in my life. It has increased my love of storytelling, and even shown me that I could do it. Above all though, most of my “bible knowledge” is not from Sunday sermons, or even bible studies, but from the reading and pondering that I have done while writing these stories.
I was excited by the hope I saw this week in the story of David and Jonathan. In a nutshell, they are the best of friends. As close, and even closer than brothers. There is a problem though. Jonathan’s father is trying to kill David. Now Jonathan doesn’t believe it, but after listening to David make his case, he decides to help David find out the truth.
I thought that was amazing! Today, as everyone tries so hard to be heard, no one seems to really be listening. We have people who cannot even have a conversation about things they disagree on. How does that happen? How can we ever find common ground, if we cannot even have the discussion in the first place?
Today though, I was reading a little further, I was reminded of probably the only way we can find the ability to listen. It is in 1 Samuel 20:17, “…..For Jonathan loved David as he loved himself.” There it is, the answer to how these two men were able to communicate over such a divisive issue.
They loved each other. Jonathan loved David as much as he loved himself. That is how they were able to have that hard conversation. How in the end, they chose to work together. And when they find out that the King is truly trying to kill David, Jonathan makes an even harder decision to do the right thing and help David escape.
Love you neighbor as yourself, is not only in the Old Testament, but it is echoed in the New. I am beginning to see it as the only key to a door that has been cracked open in the past, but feels firmly closed right now.
I am so tired of the hate I hear, so the idea of LOVE right now really brings a new energy and a new hope. If you are feeling frustrated, I would encourage you to check out what God is saying in that ol’book the bible. It may surprise you! In it, you may just find the encouragement you were looking for.
1 Samuel 20