Love breaks through contradictions (pt3)

by Craig on April 8, 2011

… she kept a finger on one passage – and continuously flipped from one part of the Bible to the other. She muttered again and again, “They’re different. They’re different. They contradict. He’s right.” Flipping back and forth, talking herself out of her faith, prompted to this doubt by a professor who didn’t care much for Christianity.

This is part 3 of the story – part 1 is here and 2 is here. It’s a good story, you’ll like the first parts.

I leaned a little forward, and whispered – it was a library after all. “But Mary…” I said.

And she stopped the muttering and looked up. Squinting her eyes a little, and tilting her head, she whispered back a meek, “Yeah?”

“But do they contradict?”

She looked down at the Bible on her lap. It was opened to the Matthew passage. She read the same words she had already read a number of times.

Without looking up she said slowly – you know – like you do when you’re figuring out what’s next on a shopping list, “Matthew says … they went up the Mount… aaaaaaaand … Jesus started preaching … aaaaaaaand … that’s it.”

Then, keeping her finger there she turned the pages to where her other finger marked the passage in Luke.

She read the words, her mind analyzing as she spoke, again haltingly, “Luke says … they went up the mountain … then came down to a level spot … a plain … on the mountain … a plain on the mountain … like in The Sound of Music.”

And light bulbs lit up. She un-drooped her shoulders, looked me in the eye, and said, “They don’t’ contradict! Luke just adds one more detail. He doesn’t say anything to contradict Matthew … He just adds more to the description. Right?”

Everything was said with increasing confidence – except the “Right?” – that needed some confirmation.

So the corners of my lips turned up, and I nodded my head.

We were onto something.

“Four Gospels.” I said, “Written by four people. One, the last one, written years after the previous three – written with much more of an eye to the meaning of the events.”

“Because more time had passed and he could see better.” she interrupted.

The dots were beginning to connect.

So I asked this far more confident girl, than the one who sat there 5 minutes ago, “Which leaves us with…?”

“Three guys writing earlier – less spiritualized in their words – more of a … this happened and that happened thing.”

“And how many eye witness accounts?” I queried.

“Well, John was there, and Matthew…Luke? Was he a disciple?” Mary ran through her head the disciples she knew – then looked at me for help.

We talked about how Luke, a companion of Paul, knew a person named Theopholis who wanted an account written. So like a reporter, Luke interviewed eyewitnesses and came up with the report.

“That’s why he’s all like … in the year of so and so … during the reign of so and so.” Mary blurted. Confidence was gathering.

It was a nice moment.

And we continued and talked of Mark, a disciple of Peter, and Peter, not being a writer but a fisherman, dictated the story to Mark, who then penned what scholars believe to the gospel of “Peter”.

“Ohhhhhh,” she said, then Mary summed things up, “Four accounts, four guys, 3 eye witnesses, one news reporter, one was a dictation, each a little different. Like what I just said is the same as what you just said – but different.”

We were just about there. We needed just a little more.

“So what’s next?” Mary asked, a familiar fire back in her eyes.

My answer, “An experiment. We need statistics. Professors like numbers.”

I really wanted to finish this story today. But it’s got a bit more to go.

It needs one more day – and that’ll do it.

Please come back.

It’s got a happy ending.

In God’s love.

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Brooke April 8, 2011 at 10:32 am

This is fun……..I’m learning.


Craig April 8, 2011 at 10:45 am

Thank you for coming along for the ride Brooke. TRUE STORY!!! It was fun being there. God Bless you today – and thank you again.


A. April 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Craig, I am so glad you keep showing up in the chair next to us. :) My time warp has stopped so now I have to wait patiently for ‘tomorrow’ like every one else. :(


HisFireFly April 8, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Thanks for stopping by and leaving words of His love as a comment to my blog today – it allowed me to find you here!


Craig April 8, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Here I am – this is where my words hang out – thank you for finding me. Listen for the lullaby – God bless you!!


Kathy Reynolds April 8, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Just stopping by wishing you an amazing weekend. God bless.


Craig April 8, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Well thank you Kathy. I will try to honor your wishes. Big nasty trial of a week – God is good – blessed regardless of circumstance – and I’ll give this weekend my best shot now – because – well – now I have to don’t I? (◠‿◠). God bless you too!!


Sharon @ Hiking Toward Home April 8, 2011 at 9:06 pm

So glad you were ‘there’ for Mary. Liking this… :-)


Caroline April 8, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Hi, Craig – I wanted to stop by and let you know I’m praying for your year of “connection.” You definitely are connecting and sharing His love! Your writing is very captivating. I loved reading this.


Craig April 9, 2011 at 8:58 am

I”m thinking of checking in on people and their years – and dedicating myself to some prayer for them – thank you for praying for me. I am more connected than ever – but still have much to learn and far to go. Thank you for your kind words Caroline – it is all about love – if I love – I’m in line with Our Lord – God Bless and keep you.


Debbie April 9, 2011 at 1:56 am

I love how this is turning out, as you and Mary search out the scriptures. :) Thank you so much for sharing this true story . . .creative non-fiction! :)


Craig April 9, 2011 at 9:01 am

It is so true – after I’m done writing even more details come back – it was a mini miracle I think – a thousand kids in a crowded library – me being quiet – a little out of place – just digging into research, study, silent prayer, and just by “chance” Mary sits next to me – and I’m my typical gabby self when she tells me of her sitch. Just chance, just random chance – except not. God Bless you Deb – and thank you.


Michelle April 9, 2011 at 2:04 am

I broke my own rule (but that’s what rules are for, right?) and turned my computer on on a Saturday. But I just had to……


Craig April 9, 2011 at 9:03 am

Michelle – I’m sorry for making you break your rule – but don’t come back till (my) Monday – that’s when it finishes up (◠‿◠). God bless you – you are a continual blessing to me.


Heidi M April 9, 2011 at 7:12 am

Hi Craig ~ stopping by to thank you for your sweet comments on my Gift Lists. Your feet are firmly planted in a place of love and sharing. Beautiful story, beautifully told… I’ll be back for more. :)
Be blessed!


Craig April 9, 2011 at 9:12 am

Heidi you are welcome – I hearted your list. And my feet – well they are firmly planted – bug I’m like everybody – I struggle – the “me” in me tends to think only about me – Our Lord – and LOVE – is always about others – ALWAYS – perfect love – and perfect loving – that is for later – now is for striving. I’m a striver (◠‿◠). Thank you for reading – and your kind words. God bless.


Patti April 9, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Often, “teachers” who do not know the bible or God, try to draw away young believers from their faith. I am glad you were there for Mary. This is also a reminder that we need to be mature believers who are grounded in the Word, so that we can stand firm and encourage others. God bless you, Craig :)


Craig April 9, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Patti, I can’t take much credit for being there for Mary – the God of all things orchestrates in a billion different and unique ways a day. However it happened – chance or God – you are so right – we need to grow up in our faith, and be out there for each other. Thank you Patti – God Bless.


Ruthiey April 10, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Thank you so much for this post! I feel like people don’t talk nearly enough about this!


Craig April 11, 2011 at 9:58 am

Ruthiey, thank you. The Mary in this story was just about your age. I heart how much God you have in you. Don’t ever let anyone squash it out – examine every doubt God can take it. Just don’t let them sit without examining – they fester that way. Keep at your writing – you have a gift. God bless and keep you. And thank you again.


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