Think of one way to show others your love today.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” John 1:14 (niv)
As a novelist, I’ve always appreciated the power of words. Words can immerse a reader in a setting, evoke emotion, and establish connections. One of the key skills that fiction writers discover is that it’s more effective to “show” rather than “tell.” If a writer paints a scene where the hero pauses to help a child with a skinned knee, we get a more effective glimpse of the character’s kindness than if the narrator spent several sentences telling us about the hero’s sensitive and caring qualities. The slump of a mother’s shoulders by the hospital bed of her child invites us deeper into her emo- tional state than a line telling us, “She felt sad.”
Teachers also know the importance of showing rather than just telling. Students might yawn and let their attention drift to the closest window during a long lecture. Visual aids help keep them engaged. Hands-on participation helps even more. A sixth-grader who builds a topographical model of South America, listens to pan flute music, and tastes recipes from Brazil and Peru will remember more about what he learned than a student who reads a chapter of facts about the continent. Words have power—God spoke the universe into being.
But words also have limitations. Our attention drifts. We misunderstand. Or we struggle to sort out the vital words from among the clamor of voices around us. So God did what the best novelists and teachers strive to do. He brought the truth to life. Jesus, the Word, came to show us—not just tell us—God’s love and plan of redemption. The embodiment of grace walked among us. He touched lepers, embraced disciples, broke bread. He laughed and cried and prayed. And He died and rose again. The tangible incarnation of God’s story of sacrifice, mercy and love.
FAITH STEP: Think of one way to show others your love today.
Written by Sharon Hinck