Show me, don’t tell me

By Jan Davis
Special to The PREVIEW
Writers tell their stories with words. One of the first rules writers learn is, “Show, don’t tell.” Good storytellers are animated.
Romance writers demonstrate love and affection through body language with a touch, an embrace or a kiss. Thrillers hold the reader in suspense with twists, surprises and danger. A shadow in the night, a scream for help or a frantic foot chase will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Murder mysteries are about evidence: a bloody crime scene with footprints, a cigarette butt found outside the window or tire tracks as the suspect peels away. A devotion gives spiritual encouragement and focuses on a childhood memory, a creative idea, or healing of past hurts.
Regardless the genre, writers engage the reader, provide an occasion to relate and perhaps touch a heartstring.
Writers possess the unique opportunity and responsibility to be real. The risk pays off when someone says, “Good job.”
Readers foster a show-me mindset. They do not accept, “Because we say so.” They want tangible proof. They relate when we open up and share our lives. They laugh and cry along with us.
An example of this mindset would be Thomas, the disciple. In the New Testament we read how he demanded verification and refused the first-hand reports of John and Peter. Regardless of what others said, he required a face-to-face encounter. His faith necessitated physical confirmation. To be convinced, Thomas needed to see Jesus, touch the nail-scarred hands, and place his hand into the gap in Jesus’ side.
We never saw Jesus, but we read the Bible and believed. The prophets of the Old Testament wrote firsthand experiences. Writers shared accounts handed down by the patriarchs of faith. We read stories, which foretold the promise of a savior, and followed the lineage of Christ throughout the scriptures.
The New Testament revealed Jesus as the Savior of the world. We read about his obscure birth in a manger. We studied his parables and discovered hidden truths in those words. We wept over the pages that told of his betrayal and sufferings. We bowed our heads in repentance and acknowledged He died on a rugged cross for our sins.
Judged, ridiculed and condemned, Jesus determined the end was worth the pain and rejection. We read his final words, “It is finished.”
The New Testament did not end with his death and burial, but with his resurrection and a promise of the third person of the Triune God, the Holy Spirit. We read the books written by His disciples and discovered weaved into the chapters the message of salvation. Jesus didn’t tell us about salvation, He demonstrated it through His shed blood. The ultimate sacrifice.
The beloved disciple, John wrote the book of Revelation while exiled on an island. This book foretold the future of the Church, the believer and mankind. The book ended with the promise of Christ’s Second Coming, when Jesus will establish His eternal kingdom as King of Kings.
There is still one more book. The Lamb’s Book of Life. In this book, we will not be readers or writers, but participants. Written within those pages will be the names of all believers. It will list every good deed we did while here on earth. It will be a time of celebration and a glimpse into our future with Christ.
Because of Jesus, the story never ends.
“He who testifies to these things says, “Surely, I am coming quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” — Revelation 22:20 (NKJV).
I love you, but Jesus loves you more.

This story was posted on April 19, 2018.