A few years ago in a Fort Worth suburb, a goat escaped from the Future Farmers of America pens and made its way into the halls of the local high school. It was after hours, so no one could let it out; but it was caught on a security camera, butting its head against its own reflection that it saw in the glass doors. Finally, this angry goat butted so hard that the door shattered and it escaped, apparently unhurt.
August 9, 2009 ?Proper 14 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33 Drugs almost killed the young father of the 10-year-old girl, but he escaped from that lifestyle; and by the time his daughter was in high school, he was completely free-or so he thought. He recognized the signs and tried to stop her; but when his daughter was a sophomore, filled with beautiful potential, an overdose took her life. He felt the tortuous grief of losing a child, the helpless frustration of watching the habit that led to her death and heavy pain of regret for the example he set for her. He had been freed from drugs, but she had been enslaved. Why didn't he die instead of her? Why was he forgiven and given life when hers was taken?
?August 2, 2009 Proper 13 2 Samuel 11:26-12:1-13 The cookies seemed to disappear more quickly than they should. The mother suspected that her 5-year-old was developing skills that would serve him well in FBI covert ops. She asked him if he was taking cookies when he shouldn't. He shrugged his shoulders and didn't answer.
July 26, 2009 ?Proper 12 2 Samuel 11:1-15 Playing catch is a universal game. It only requires two or more people and something to throw. When I was 10 years old, my neighborhood's preferred item was a baseball. We seemed to lose most of them and never seemed to have more than one; so when the well-worn tan ball with red stitching went down the sewer opening, we had to go after it. Charlie's dad had a crowbar to pry open the cast iron lid, and Chris volunteered to go down into the ankle-deep stagnant water, past spider webs and slime.
As I was reading about the strategy of presenting an argument, these three images-sheep, serpents and doves-started coming together for me.