|Looking forward to spring walks|
On holidays, my husband Hank and I drove past a church sporting a brief, but all-encompassing message. All it said was, TRUST, LOVE, FOLLOW, CARE, SHARE. "Wow!" I thought. "That is the Christian faith in a thimble, and it's all verbs.
The Christian walk is one of action. As I scribbled this church sign on a paper napkin, a few Bible verses flashed through my mind.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart." (Proverbs 3:5a)
"Love the Lord your God . . . and love your neighbour as yourself." (Luke 10:27)
"'Come follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will make you fishers of men.'" (Matthew 4:19)
These few verses fleshed out the memo, but kept the Christian mission succinct. One could add more about caring for people in prison, sharing with widows and orphans, healing the sick, caring for the elderly, acting justly, but that is all included in "love your neighbour as yourself."
Strong verbs! Any writing teacher worth his hire will remind us to use vivid and virile verbs; and go easy on the adverbs. Precise verbs show action and inject life into a story. Verbs with punch lessen the use of passive voice. To say, "She was driven crazy by the dog," is lame compared to, "The dog drove her crazy when he pattered in with muddy feet." Action verbs tell it like it is. Well-chosen verbs bring life to the page.
The language of the Bible demonstrates effective writing while teaching the spiritual lessons God wants us to understand. Look at the verbs in John 3:16. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." What life-giving verbs! What a life-giving story.
Prayer: Thanks for the reminder, Lord, of how simple, yet powerful and complete is the Christian calling. Help me share the good news of your plan of salvation enacted 2000 years ago. I am in awe of what you did for me, for all of mankind, to save us from the errors of our ways.