Shooting the Prodigal

Rembrandt: The Return of the Prodigal SonNancy Mairs did an outstanding job writing this story about “Shooting the Prodigal” in First Things First – the online magazine of Richmond’s First Baptist Church.

Talk doesn’t cook rice

Rice“Talk doesn’t cook rice.”

That Chinese proverb resonates with me because I’m an introvert and don’t especially enjoy chit-chat. I’m a get-it-done person who’s much more comfortable with checklists and action plans. When I’m “just talking” it feels like I’m not doing anything. I think I should be out there doing something and not just talking about it.

Nevertheless, I must admit that while it doesn’t cook rice, talk is necessary to create the environment and circumstances in which rice does, in fact, get cooked.

I’ve been doing a lot of talking lately: with potential donors, partners, crew and cast members… essentially anybody who’ll sit still long enough to hear me tell about the film we’re working on, “Shooting the Prodigal.”

The conversations are mostly invigorating. But I often feel the need to take a nap afterwards. I get emotional when I talk about the spiritual implications of Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son – the subject of our film. My voice starts to quiver and I have to take a long, embarrassing pause before I can continue.

Most of my conversation partners are kind, patient and understanding… thankfully.
They often respond with wide eyes and enthusiasm. Not because I’m eloquent, which I’m not. But because of the inherent truth and power contained in the story.

When Jesus talked, people listened. And for those with ears to hear, his words changed their lives. They went out and cooked rice with new purpose and meaning.

I pray that our telling of the story has the same effect.