As I write this, I’ve just finished watching the last episode of “The Wonder Years”. There’s something about a good piece of art. I don’t know how the story of the Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper takes me back in time to the lesser known story of Paul and Christina.

We didn’t grow ou together in the late sixties and early seventies in a non-descript suburban town. We didn’t even grow up together. We didn’t even meet until she was 18 and I was 21, but I’m reminded of our story nonetheless.

That’s the power of good art. It affects you on a level you don’t quite understand. Now, here’s the question, “How many times have you been encountered that way at church?” I don’t mean, “How many times did you leave somewhat up?” I mean how many times has God encountered you in a way that you know changed you forever and how many times did he do it through art?

For me, it happens all the time. There are tons of times when I fight back tears (not because I don’t like to cry, but because it’s hard to call shots through tears). Songs, dramas, video clips, dance all impact you where you live, deep down.

Last week it was a clip from “Blood Diamond” that showed a wather welcoming a son who’d made bad decisions back home. It was Luke 15 (the story of the Prodigal son) all over again. Seeing the depth of forgiveness and grace in a father’s eyes nearly did me in.

I wonder if that’s what it felt like the first time anyone heard the prodigal son story. When people heard Jesus’ words dripping with a passion so intense that he couldn’t keep it in, did anyone hear the truth that even they could be forgiven. I think they did. Storytelling is art, too.

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