I’m not a big fan of country music, necessarily, but there was a time where I would have told you I couldn’t stand to listen to it at all. My grandparents, one set in particular, loved country music. Whenever I was at their house, or riding in their car, I can remember the radio being on KTCS, Ft. Smith, Arkansas’s, country music station. And it made me nauseous. Give me The Police, Journey, Chicago, The Eagles, or any music remotely close. But please, for the love of all that’s music, no more Conway Twitty’s, “Tight Fittin’ Jeans.” Give me, “Billie Jean.”
But I’ve softened to some country music, I guess. I like songs that have a story; stories that take me somewhere. Take for example, Jamey Johnson’s song, “In Color.” Whenever I hear that song, I think about my grandfather who loved to tell stories (If you’re not familiar with that song, here’s the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYGwxf1gCC4). I remember sitting on his front porch, he and I whittling sticks with an Old Timer pocket knife he gave me. He taught me why you spit on the whet stone before sharpening your knife. He shared with me about life when he was a kid. He told me some stories about being in the Pacific campaign in WWII. He would take me on drives and show me fields he used to walk in; tell me the history of places in the town I was born and raised in. He even drove me to the place where he proposed to my grandmother, and told me the story. I wish I could have seen those things in color.
Even as I write this I find myself missing my grandparents. But I’m thankful for the memories, and the stories to this day that still make me smile when I think about them. They have left an indelible mark on my life.
When I read what John wrote in his first letter, it was as though he was inviting those to whom he was writing, and us, to pull up a chair and listen to the stories of his time with Jesus. Stories that would lead somewhere, and ultimately to Someone who could change their lives now, and forever.
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands concerning the word of life–the life was made manifest and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us–that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” 1 John 1:1-4
I wish I could’ve heard and seen that in color. To hear what John heard. To see what John saw firsthand. To touch Creator God, and embrace the Savior of the world.
As followers of Christ, we have not been left without a story to tell. For now, we walk by faith. We see somewhat, but not fully. The apostle Paul said, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12
We believe by faith the scriptures are true. We believe the Spirit of God, who dwells in every believer, illuminates the truth of what Christ has said and done. He transforms us so that we are able to bear witness to the truth of Christ. We have heard Him because He speaks to us by His word and His Spirit. We see Him because He Spirit works in and through us. And we proclaim Him because He is worth telling others about.
But there is coming a day when this faith we walk in as followers of Christ will become sight; when what seems to be monochrome becomes more brilliant than Ultra HD 4K.
Until that day comes, we need to keep telling the stories, and look forward with expectant hope that we’ll see it in color.