Monthly Archives: September 2005

Sand and Water

Photo by jtcoleman

I titled this photo “Sand and Water” because it shows Callie both wet and dirty. Beth Nielsen Chapman used the same title for a song about a strong person worn down by a long illness. The payoff line is, “Solid stone is just sand and water…sand and water and a million years gone by.” Sad song, but it’s a good sad.

That makes me think of the sand clinging to Callie’s face. It was once a solid stone; maybe a mountain.

Sins of Omission

I pulled out some old CDs the other day to listen to some stuff that I haven’t heard in a while. I’ve always enjoyed a wide range of musical styles, but lately I’ve been cycling through the same ten or so CDs and had started to feel like I was in a rut.

One of the CDs I retrieved was The Beginning by Michael Card. Michael’s stuff was on the contemporary Christian charts back when I bought this CD in 1989, but I haven’t really kept track of him (or much contemporary Christian music) since then. My own Christian faith died on the examining table in college — or so I had thought — but staged a remarkable comeback later; a resurrection, if you will.

The Beginning is a very hefty CD. It contains many well written, theologically powerful songs. The first five songs each deal with a major theme found in the first five books of the Bible. The next five songs are each fashioned around the life of a Hebrew patriarch. The song about Abraham, God Will Provide a Lamb, really got to me.

The Bible is not written like a modern history book or novel. The book of Genesis often seems to me to neglect the back story that would give its protagonists enough depth to make their actions seem more human and less mythological. Because of that feeling of mythology I never thought too much about Abraham as a guy just trying to make some sense of the rather amazing story he finds himself in. After waiting for years to have a child, he was told by God to sacrifice that child, and he did. Or at least he tried to: God intervened at the last second, after Abraham had proven his faithfulness.

My two dimensional view of Abraham had always made me see him as very different from me: he was a person who would kill because — why? — voices in his head told him to?

I’ve spent a lot of time worrying over the fact that when he believed God wanted him to kill his son, he decided to kill his son rather than question his beliefs.