Photo Exploration: Jael and Sisera

July 1, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Dur­ing our Octo­ber 2012 trip to Rome, I was might­ily inspired by the depic­tions of Bib­li­cal* sto­ries. I was taken with the incred­i­ble pieces of art that really were telling the story with­out evan­ge­liz­ing. Or, at least, with­out being hell­bathedinthe­blood­oftherisen­lamb­fire evan­gel­i­cal. The beau­ti­ful imagery spoke of the immense power of storytelling.

Grow­ing up in the south­ern United States, there were end­less expe­ri­ences with Chris­tian­ity and Chris­tians, many of them pos­i­tive. How­ever, it was a rare time when the sto­ries told were told sim­ply for the enjoy­ment of the tale. All too often the com­plex­ity and won­der of tapes­try found in scrip­ture is lost because at the end of it, you know that you’ll get a bit of pros­e­ly­tiz­ing and maybe some guilt trip­ping. So when I returned, I decided to use a new medium (rel­a­tive to other art forms) to share my own vision of Bib­li­cal sto­ries. Maybe some that are famil­iar, maybe some that aren’t, but all of which pro­vide a small brick of the foun­da­tion of the Chris­t­ian faith.

The first was the story of Jael (Judges 5:26) who took in an enemy gen­eral and then slew him in a fairly grue­some man­ner. She is held up as one of the great women of the Old Tes­ta­ment, although not nearly men­tioned today as often as Ruth, Esther, Sarah or oth­ers. I like her strength, her intel­li­gence and her abil­ity to change the tides of his­tory with one deci­sive move­ment. And that moment is what I pho­tographed in the scene below.

Jael & Sisera

Jael & Sisera

I hope to fol­low this with many oth­ers of scenes from the Old and New Tes­ta­ments. Con­tin­u­ing to tell the nar­ra­tive on its own, with­out any pre­tense except to share the myth itself.

* Yes, I rec­og­nize that a great deal of “Bib­li­cal” sto­ries are re-tellings of even older sto­ries, or con­glom­er­a­tions of mul­ti­ple sto­ries from mul­ti­ple tra­di­tions, but it gets the point across.