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Scribbling in the Sand by Michael Card

Best known as a singer/songwriter, Michael Card is also a gifted author and teacher.  In Scribbling in the Sand, he looks at a familiar narrative from an imaginative perspective and highlights aspects of the story that we may not have seen before.
 
A woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus.  “What do you say we should do with her?” the good men of the town asked.  His response was not any of the answers they had anticipated.  He didn’t come down emphatically on the side of the law.  Neither did he set aside the law and offer her a free pass, just this once.  He stooped and wrote – we don’t know what – in the sand.

“What Jesus did that morning created a space in time that allowed for the angry mob first to cool down, then to hear his word, and finally to think about it, be convicted by it and respond – or not.  It made time stand still.  It was original.  It was unexpected.  It was a response to the noise and confusion and busyness all around him, yet it was not in the least tainted by the noise.  Instead, Jesus’ action created a frame around the silence – the kind of silence in which God speaks to the heart.  In short, it was a supreme act of creativity.  It was art.”
 
Card helps us to see that our innate longing for beauty is a hunger for the God who created us in his image, and that our impulse to create is not so much imitation as response.  “The order, the balance and the beauty of creation are…a shadow, like the shadow of the earth on the moon, which speaks of the essence of God.  Such beauty draws us:  it encourages and inspires us to worship.  It even convicts us.  The beauty of God demands a response from us.”  In fact, “the call to creativity is a call to worship,” and it extends to us all.  He goes on to share insights into Biblical understanding of the imagination, the character and lifestyle of creativity, and the importance of community in the life of the artist.
 
Scribbling in the Sand is one of the books I return to time after time for affirmation, exhortation, encouragement, challenge.  I recommend it to anyone seeking to better understand and offer up their creativity for the glory of God.

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