If you simply judge books by their covers, you might pass this book by. Its title is Ozark Childhood: Stories from a Simpler Time and Place. There are a few faces on the front that are surely unfamiliar to you and an author whose name you would not recognize. On the back cover is a picture of the author who, with his white beard, might remind you of Santa Claus.
And maybe he is. You see, this book of mine is a valued gift. I was hooked as soon as I started reading the “Acknowledgements” page. (Don’t laugh. Some people read the obituaries in newspapers; I read the Acknowledgement pages in books.)
I was hooked when I saw the names of people dear to me. Raymond and Gladys Elkins—my deceased grandparents. Betty Elkins Brown—my mother. Bill Elkins—my uncle who has also passed away. Sara, my aunt. Dave and Jody, my cousins. And the author, David Elkins, my uncle.
This is not just any book; this is a book about my family tree. The stories would probably not be of any interest to you, but they are to me. That’s what happens when you hear part of your story. Something that seems lifeless comes to life. Something that looks dull becomes dynamite, firing up your heart and igniting your imagination. You are reminded that you are part of something bigger than you are, that began before you and will continue on after you.
That is why God wants you to know his story. It’s found in another book. He wants to take you into his house where he has framed photos of your ancestors––folks you may not know––lining the walls of his house.
Stories of a family patriarch named Abraham whose faith was as great as any. A matriarch named Ruth with courage that would make the most hardened warrior proud. A stubborn Jonah and his improbable fish tale. Impetuous Peter and his big mouth. Persistent Paul and his adventures in preaching.
Yet who he wants most of all for you to meet in his story is his son. He desires for you to look long into the eyes of Jesus Christ and hear his claims that what he began in the first chapter of creation he will realize at the last chapter of the New Creation, where a perfect people can live in a perfect place with their perfect Lord.
The perfect place is on the Storyboard. The question is, “Are you?” You can be there when you find your place in His Story.