Of Solar Eclipses, A Story Weaver and Sunlight

On August 21, 2017, much of the world focused on the total solar eclipse. Then Hurricane Harvey happened and the eclipse was, well, eclipsed. 

I’d like to take us back to the eclipse for at least a moment. 

Did you experience the darkness of totality? Or did you see it on TV? 

It begs the question, what would life be like without the light of the sun? 

Of course, this is a reality blind people experience, in a sense, every day. However, while they don’t see the sun’s light they still feel it.

One of the greatest story weavers of the 20th century, if not of modern times as a whole, was C.S. Lewis. This quote from him is rather enlightening on the topic of the sun,

“I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”[1}

Something to think about when we get up in the morning and see the sun shining. And perhaps it’s on purpose that the sun rises every twenty-four hours. After all, events seem to get eclipsed in our minds rather quickly, don’t they? 

[1} C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses (New York: Macmillan, 1980), pg. 92; quoted in W. Gary Phillips, William E. Brown and John Stonestreet, Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview, 2nd ed. (Salem, Wis.: Sheffield, 2008), pg. 114. 

Photo credit: Adobe Stock

Changing Seasons

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” – Ecclesiastes 3:1 (ESV)

If you’ve ever lived in a part of the world where there aren’t four seasons, you may have a different appreciation for the change of seasons than those who have walked through life with spring, summer, autumn and winter as perennial companions. Some parts of the world have two seasons – the muddy season and the dusty season. While these places have their own unique (and appreciated) beauties, some people may miss the gentle falling snow that melts into flower beds that are warmed by summer sun and covered by crunchy, color-coated leaves.

The seasons not only add beauty and variety to our lives but also remind us that life has seasons.

Sometimes we step into a new life season smiling. Other times we drag our feet and hold onto the vestiges of yesterday like an oak tree keeping its leaves while all the other trees let theirs fly.

I’m doing a little of both right now. However, the truth remains:

There is a season for posting to one’s blog routinely, and there is a season for rearranging goals to make room for new things.

I think I need to transition into that rearranging season, so I may be posting a couple of times a month in this new season instead of every week. It’s not that I lost my love for sharing ideas or have run out of ideas. I especially still love getting good notes from readers. Beyond that, the thought of missing a week after (I think) 83 consecutive weeks is rather deflating. But life is fuller with other things these days. I hope you’ll still keep up with “A Storyful Life” in this new season. Who knows? Maybe I’ll surprise myself and get a post up most weeks anyway. 🙂

Feeling Sheep-ish?

Onward he presses. Over the rocky cliffs. Through another chilly stream. He knows it isn’t far now.

Out of so many, only one is missing, but he won’t lose that one. Softly, he calls out, certain his voice is known. Finally, a reply comes.

He scrambles through brush, cutting his hands and legs on the thorns. After so much, the shed blood is worth it, isn’t it? 

He kneels down to free the lost one from its thorny prison. “Come on, little one,” he comforts, patting the sheep before he scoops it in his arms. “I’m going to take you home. And we’ll have to celebrate, won’t we?”

The sheep bleats its answer as it settles on the shepherd’s shoulders. (1)

Have you ever spent much time around sheep? Growing up, I got to observe sheep in their pasture, feed sheep, watch sheep be sheered, and even help care for twin lambs. It doesn’t take long to learn a few things about sheep.

They’re capable of cuteness worthy of nursery-rhymes. They’re useful in their own woolly way. And they’re likely to wind up in dire situations without someone with a shepherd’s heart watching out for them.

They’ll wander into bad places, eat the wrong stuff or eat too much, possibly not take care of their lambs (if they have more than one), fall prey to any number of enemies…You get the idea: Sheep can get in a lot of trouble on their own.

That’s why they need a shepherd-hearted someone to lead them where they need to go, give them “yumthy” (yummy + healthy) food, save them (and their little ones) from their own stupidity, protect them from danger and all-around help them to thrive.

Kind of like us.

Maybe you’re saying, “Speak for yourself!” Of course, I am. However, doesn’t it seem like we’ve all done at least a few sheep-like things in our lives?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a great shepherd, too? A shepherd who could guide us, track us down when we’re lost, provide for us, watch over our little ones, help us overcome our limited understanding, keep away predators, and comfort us with his voice. What if this shepherd even loved us enough that he would shed his blood for us if we needed it?

Well, that, my friends, is what Easter is all about.

We do have a Shepherd Who is able to do all those things for us. Even with His worldwide flock, He values each old ram and each little lost lamb. He has even shed His blood for us (He was also the Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5-7, John 1:29). That’s why we celebrate Easter.

And with a Shepherd like that, I think being a sheep maybe isn’t so bah-bah-bad after all.


1 This is what my imagination sees as I read “The Lost Sheep” in Luke 15:4-7 and think of Jesus being the Good Shepherd (John 10:11) .