When We Abridge the Story

Stories for the Journey

I’ll never forget the first time my husband told our two-year-old firstborn the story of David and Goliath. We were (and are) very unsure of ourselves in parenting, and we were learning a lot of things right along with her. Knowing how much she could handle was not as intuitive as we had hoped.

He masterfully kept her attention through Goliath’s challenge, David’s brave slinging of stone and Goliath’s thundering fall to the ground. With flourish, he recounted, “And David grabbed Goliath’s sword and held it high in the air and…” My motherly sensitivities caused me to give a quick, “Ahem!” at that point. He gave me a sideways glance and finished with “…..tapped him on the chest!”

All of my children have since learned the real story of David and Goliath complete with the gory details. But sometimes it is tempting to abridge the stories of life to make them a little more palatable.

We talk about the sorrow of the Cross, but we put shiny replicas of it on display. We say how Jesus forgives our sins, but we only mention the “little” sins. We talk about the Red Sea, but we forget to mention the 40 years of wilderness wandering. Everyone knows the story of Jonah and the whale, but we forget to mention that the story closes with an attitude still smelling of rotten fish.

In our own stories, we like to abridge the details that make us look bad. We like to dress up the parts about our own sin and another’s suffering.

But when God writes a story, He doesn’t leave out the details.  Our abridging the story and leaving out those words may make it appear more lovely to others, but it doesn’t change the story. When we blot the page with our own messy scribblings, only His Blood can erase them.


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