The Scripture Scout
4 Short Stories
You Didn't Know
Were About Jesus
Matthew 6:7-8 & 19-21, Luke 12:13-21
Isaiah 13, Proverbs 29:11, Isaiah 11:6,
1 Peter 1:13 & 5:8, & 2 Peter 1:5-9
Hey, you like to read, right? You want to sit back, heat up a tasty beverage, and plant your derriere in a comfortable chair or bed, kick off your shoes and "dive in." You can't wait for the next installment of the series that has kept you from cleaning the kitchen or vacuuming out the cereal from the car floorboards. I know, I've been there. Most avid readers, like you, are pretty committed. It MAY even be the only reason I take a bath! Anyway ...
I don't know what KIND of stories you like, but I thought I'd tell you about my friend Matt, who reads anything he can get his hands on; once he said he was trying to make up for lost time as a youth. He became pretty devoted! He even really outdid himself by continuously reading one classic after another! But alas, he tried Dostoyevsky. That's pretty amazing; tough stuff. He then readily admitted to the frustration of reading said author. This was some time ago, but I saved his exact words because they made me giggle: “I really tried. I think I was cursed by my motives on this one. I just wanted to be able to say that I had read a Russian novelist. I got through chapter one, and I was toast. So I suppose I can always say, ‘Dostoevsky? Sure, I've read a little!’”
How about you? Have YOU read Dostoyevsky? If so, you are now my hero. Really, really. I'm actually just using him as a diving board into chatting about just a few works of a different Russian author. Stay with me!
Yes, this post is indeed in line with being a scripture scout. What I’m going to do is to go out on a limb here and propose that, if you haven't already, you give another Russian author a try: Leo Tolstoy. Yeah, the War and Peace guy. No really, hang on! Mr. Tolstoy thought, according to his own words, that if he could somehow orchestrate his stories correctly, the modern man (in his time) would be touched and challenged and maybe, with “luck," somewhat changed. Tolstoy experienced much loss at a tender age, was a farmer, fought in the Crimean war, and at one point, kind of a rich guy who didn't often handle his money very well. In his later years, his views on peaceful conflict had a significant influence on Mahatma Gandhi! He passed from heart failure only four years before my paternal grandmother was born.
Here is where you and I can relate: Tolstoy was a believer with oh, so many flaws. So, besides personal enlightenment, the reason for reading some of his work would be for the express purpose of being a scripture scout! You might be interested to find biblical teachings in his stuff and see where you can spot Jesus. I'm serious! I mean, you don’t have to read War and Peace or Anna Karenina just yet. Tolstoy has some great short stories. And they are in public domain, so they're free! These are the last four in my favourite collection.
Here we go.
Read Leo when you get a moment or two. You'll be glad you did.
I believe that Mr. Tolstoy’s definition of charity HAD to have been to reach far beyond the natural human being and instead poke into his or her own soul. Maybe if you get a chance to peruse Tolstoy you can also proclaim as my friend once did, “Tolstoy? Sure, I’ve read a little!” and you won't be stretching the truth at all! And I'll bet you see a surprising amount of Jesus in these classic writings of character and purpose.
Now, I'd love for YOU to tell ME (and anyone else who is reading!) in the comments below (under the TSS fingerprint) about a non-Biblical author that helped you see Jesus and understand spirituality clearer than you expected.
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