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.