Anne of Green Gables is a spectacular book. It's extremely well written, and the characters are so real, so enthralling that you can barely put the book down. I can see why my great grandmother loved the story so much. There was another book, however, that she loved even more. This book contains a power. It holds friendship and comfort for the troubled soul. It holds the story of the ultimate love of a Father. The most wonderful thing about this book is that the characters are real.
That book is the Bible.
Now, please don't shy away from this post. Read it through and bear with me. The Bible contains not only a history lesson, but stories about the writers themselves. Writers such as the Israelite king, David.
David is, in my opinion, is one of the most interesting characters in the Bible. He's the youngest boy, has seven older brothers, and he holds one of the most humble positions in the family. He's the family shepherd boy. Yet, from what the Bible tells us, he was very protective of his sheep. That tells me he gave it his best shot. He accepted his role as the humble shepherd boy, and gave it all he had.
He grows up to be a mighty warrior, and the Lord Himself said that David was a man after His own heart. By the world's standards, young David did not have much value. Thankfully, God only goes by His own divine standards. He always has and He always will. David was anointed to be the next king of Israel over his seven older and more comely brothers. He went on to do great things as we well know, really starting off by killing the giant Goliath.
There is a very interesting detail that I have always noticed about King David. He is one of the most eloquent and talented writers in the Bible. He is a poet, and a song writer. His beautiful verses have the power to draw us towards them for help and comfort. Who could forget Psalms 23?
"The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. He leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His names sake. Yea, though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no evil. For Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. Thou prepares a table before me, in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever."
David not only has a great love and faith in God, but also a passion for writing. He is not like the scribes who wrote the New Testament. He uses descriptive words and phrases such as "the Valley of Death." That phrase creates a picture in the mind's eye. David relates the experience of death to a very dark valley. This verse is obviously an allegory.
There are many examples of allegories in the Psalms. Here are a few.
"For my iniquities have gone over my head, like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me to bear." -Psalms 38:4
"As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God," -Psalms 42:1
"He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge." -Psalms 91:4
That last verse is one of my favorites. It compares God to a mighty and protective bird. It is a wonderful image. Many of these great birds give off the effect of majesty. That is a huge part of who God is. Majestic. This picture gives one the feeling of protection and security.
David also had the gift of writing things people could relate to. Not just in his own time, but for all time. Many of the people I have spoken with, who have or are going through trials, love the Psalms. All because they can relate to it, and feel reassured that someone has survived a difficult circumstance similar to what they are going through.
"Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my plea for grace. In the day of my trouble call upon You, for You answer me." -Psalms 86: 6-7
"O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising up against me; many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for Him in God." -Psalms 3:1-2
"I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with weeping." -Psalms 6:6
There are also words of hope...
"I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well." -Psalms 139:14
So. What tips can writers draw from the writer, King David? While there are many, here are the three main points I have gathered.
1) Descriptive words and phrases that create pictures and images in the readers mind
2) The use of allegories.
3) A story that people can relate to.
Well, there you have it. I think my point in this post is to say that a writer must realize that lessons can be learned from many different paces, including the Bible. All you really have to do is pay close attention.
Until next time!