What are the most wonderful words you have ever heard? Perhaps it was the first time someone special said, “I love you” or the voice of a long-missed child on the telephone saying, “I’m coming home.” Maybe it was the praise of an employer or the blessing of a parent that still warms your heart. I remember mine. They came from the mouth of a beautiful and loving Sunday school teacher; six wonderful words: “Let me tell you a story.”
I can still see her perched on the edge of her desk with a Bible in her hand, a smile on her face, and eternity shining in her eyes. I can still feel the joyful anticipation of those story hours as Sunday morning approached. I didn’t know it at the time; but she was the first of God’s loving “farmers” to come into my life; sowing her seeds of life. Words were her seeds and my hungry spirit and thirsty soul was the soil. Others followed to weed and water those plants until a well-known story, skillfully told, about a pregnant virgin, a census, an unusual star, and an angel caused the first sign of fruit to appear. And then with the words, “I want to know you” spoken by my own voice and a final watering with tears from my own eyes; my soul was ready for harvest.
However, she was the first; opening the door I hope will never close to a world I had never imagined. And beginning a journey that I pray will never end. In this world an abused child found a healing touch, a friendless boy found trustworthy companions, a lonely sibling found his miracle-working older Brother, and a fatherless son found his Eternal Daddy. I have met an evil serpent and a foolish couple, a thankful son and his jealous and murderous brother, a man who wrestled an angel and became a nation, a nation that followed a pillar of fire and became free, a giant killed by a shepherd and a shepherd turned into a king. I met the wisest man who ever lived and a man who never died, a man who slept inside a whale and repented and a man who slept inside a lion’s den and survived, a dreamer who saved a nation and a savior who fulfilled a nation’s dreams.
Along this journey I found myself hiking through a desert covered with manna and climbing a mountain covered in the thick clouds of God’s presence, in an ark filled with animals and on a street made of gold, watching the walls of Jericho fall with Joshua and watching the walls of Jerusalem rise with Nehemiah, racing into battle with Gideon’s few and resting in peace with Solomon’s plenty, tending sheep with David and fishing with Peter, on a battlefield covered in blood and at a banquet table covered with the finest food, worshipping with shepherds before a manger in a stable filled with light and worshipping with angels before a white throne in a room filled with glory.
It has been an amazing journey that has not ended, through a world I am still exploring. On this journey I found friends that were truer than any that live. I found hope, joy, peace, and I found myself. “How?” you ask.