My Kindergarten Sunday School teacher’s name was Eulalie Bryant. After all these years and multiple churches and towns, I still remember this amazing woman. Every Sunday, she gathered her little class around – Mrs. Bryant on a chair and all of us on the floor in front of her while she told stories.
I was enraptured.
After Sunday School, she’d hug us all and send us on our way. It never really sank in at the time what she did for me, though.
Years later in high school, I was reading my Bible and came across the story of Balaam’s donkey in the book of Numbers. I was surprised to find that it was a Bible story. I always just thought it was a story about God. Then it hit me, all of those Bible stories that Mrs. Bryant had told us came from the Bible. But she didn’t just read them to us … she told the stories, bringing them to life with her inflection and expression.
As I look back, I’m sure she had the Bible sitting in her lap, but all I could do was listen and soak in what she told us. For some time after the Balaam’s donkey surprise, I continued to find more stories that I’d made part of my understanding of God, but never realized were found in the Bible. They were just part of the entire picture for me.
Stories from scripture have been the foundation of my life from the very beginning, even when I didn’t realize it. Jesus taught in stories … in parables … so that his listeners could more easily relate to the basic truths he taught.
Mrs. Bryant made the stories of the Bible come alive so that her students could easily understand the truths of the Bible.
In the second story of the Abide With Me Series – Abiding Grace – I plant the story of the Prodigal Son into contemporary society. This young man had to get to the very bottom of his life before he could ever understand the gift that his father offered to him.
I loved writing the story of Ruth in Abiding Love. It was a joy to explore the relationships she had with Naomi and her new husband. Even more so, I am in love with the story of David in Abiding Grace. I wept as I wrote it. The power of grace freely given is a miracle.
The Abide With Me series will end up being a collection of four short stories. When all four are completed, I will assemble it into a paperback as well. For now, they are only available individually on the Kindle.