Once Upon a Time There was a Cow Stuck in the Ice

We live in a rural area of Rhode Island, and during my father’s decades of firefighting, many of his rescues involved wildlife or domestic animals.

One winter at dusk, he responded to a call for a cow stuck in the ice. It was snowing, and the firefighters racing over slick country roads in my dad’s car vowed never to ride with him again!

He and his firefighters set up at the local pond as darkness descended, and donned gear for an ice rescue. The herd milled around moaning on the banks, fretting over the commotion. Continue Reading →

Once Upon a Time – Serving a God Who Loves a Good Story

Once upon a time, there was an Almighty Being with a passion for story telling.
He decided to write His own story, so He created a world and populated it with humans. This Great Storyteller was so good at His craft that each human had his or her own story and yet, He wove each of their stories into the greater one as well.
He called humans His children and so that they would know Him, He designed them to be like Him in that they loved hearing stories and telling them as well.
When the evil one saw what God had done, he visited humans and convinced them to change their story. Now, the evil one has no stories of his own. He is not creative, entertaining, nor able to teach. He is a spoiler only. His sole recourse is to twist and pervert the stories of each human and to encourage them to produce stories that reflect their new blindness and the misery they experience by engaging in his games.
But God was not finished with humans nor was He daunted by the challenge of evil. He knew He had crafted such a fine eternal story that it would endure and win out. And what the evil one didn’t know was that He had woven Himself into the story, like a fine scarlet thread, from the very start and when this thread eventually revealed itself to be Him in human flesh and bled out onto the pages of all human stories, it destroyed the plans of the evil one for all time.
God loves to hide Himself in our stories. So crafted into our DNA is this love of storytellng that even those who have forgotten they are part of His story unconsciously write Him into the ones they tell.
Don’t believe me? Just start looking.
Every culture loves a fairy tale. We Anglo-Saxon’s revel in a good royal wedding story. The prince seeks his princess and fights the evil dragon to rescue her so, at last, they may wed in a glorious affair where all in the kingdom rejoice. This is God’s story with His bride, the church. He winks at us through this tale as if to say, “One day, this will be us.” Because of that, we flock to this story by the millions whenever it is told.
In Russia fairy tales, the peasant is the one who is wise and those who have the power,authority, money in this world are the fools. The peasant, while looked down upon and lowly in estate, knows that he has the real treasure. This is the message of scripture that God has made foolish the wisdom of this world in order that we may see Him.
Tales told in Japan are so different from our royal weddings and Russian happy peasants. In Japanese fairy tales, it is often necessary for the suffering main character to sacrifice himself or herself and to die for the good of all others. This is the story of Jesus hidden in the hearts of the storytellers of this ancient culture.
There are more, countless more. The Master Storyteller appears, not only in fairytales but also in the modern telling of tales through films, novels, music, and more. The seeking heart can find Him. The knowing heart can point Him out, can spot Him in whatever obscure place He reveals Himself. We reveal our own hearts through our love of a good redemption story, a fairy tale romance, or a thrilling mystery where the hero fights against all odds to defeat the villain and save those he loves.
People often ask how God can judge souls at the end of time if they didn’t know He existed. I believe that on that day we will be amazed how any could have missed Him with the countless ways He reveals Himself to us through nature, through scripture, through His Son and through our own design.
Millions of us gathered to watch the royal wedding  because it touched that place in us that remembers who we were in the Garden of Eden and reminds us that one day, we who have trusted our souls to Jesus Christ, will meet Him as our bridegroom. It is easy to find Him in that story.
But He is in many other stories. Those of us who know Him should be looking for Him and pointing Him out to others – “See, He is there!” “Hear that? That is Him, too!” The Apostle Paul could see God written into the story of the Athenians and used it to speak to them. We should all be doing just what Paul did in Act 17.
“(All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.) Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’”
Do you see Him somewhere today, loved ones? Are you looking?
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