binding the ideas of typed words and the beauty of a tapestry.
That’s my attempt at cleverness. You may not find it inventive. You may find it annoying, or corny, or poor use of the English language. That’s OK. Even if you aren’t found of my mad word creation skills, I do want to explain why I have chosen this title.
Typestry represents two images: the written word and woven art. The Bible is God’s revealed message in words to us. Have you stopped to think that God has told us everything he wants us to know about him in the words of the Bible? Language is his gift. Words are his tools. They do his bidding. And in the written pages of the Scriptures, he tells us what he is able to do by the power of his words. He created the world by simply speaking: “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:3). He divides language (see Genesis 11:1-9) and binds them back together (Acts 2:3-13). He rebuked, “Peace! Be still!” (Mark 4:39), and wind ceased and waves stopped. He commanded, “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home” (Mark 2:11), and weak, lame legs instantly strengthened and straightened, obeying their creator. His words surge with great power!
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than
any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of
soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and
discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
When I consider the other image, I am taken back to a visit to the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina. In the Tapestry Gallery of that grand estate hang magnificent 16th century tapestries, “The Triumph of the Seven Virtues.” These tapestries tell the tale of the three theological virtues (faith, hope, and charity) along with the four cardinal virtues (temperance, prudence, justice, and fortitude) through various allegories taken from the Bible and other sources. As I pondered those intricately designed works of art, I found myself mesmerized by the woven story they told. You might think of these displays as “Pre-computer PowerPoint for the Extremely Rich and Famous,” or “The Original Flannel Graph for Kings and Princes.” The designers of those beautiful displays saw a finished work in their mind’s eye, from beginning to end, and set about to tell history and truth through the weaving of mere fabric. As I contemplate the parallels between those majestic displays of woven artwork and God’s moment-by-moment life weaving process in the lives of his children, my mind races to Romans 8:28.
And we know that for those who love God
all things work together for good, for those
who are called according to his purpose.
The Language Giver is also the Grand Weaver (to borrow from Ravi Zacharias). He can take your worst moments and your best, your ups and your downs, your twists and your turns, weave them into a beautiful tapestry and call it your life. For those of us who follow him, he takes his Word and weaves it into, around, and through our everyday experiences to make us into a beautiful work of art, similar to those 16th century tapestries, but so much more valuable. As a pastor, professor, and writer, everything in my life revolves around studying, meditating, applying, and communicating the words of the Word. As my life meets that book, God intertwines his words with my life turning who I am into a typestry for his glory.
Typestry. Language and life. The words and the walk. I like it. What about you?