Introducing the 2016 Biblical Character Awards
The Biblical Character Awards are my way of featuring a handful of readers and recognizing them for their contribution to my life and ministry.
“They have been a wonderful encouragement to me, as they have been to you. You must show your appreciation to all who serve so well” (1 Corinthians 16:18).
For a long time, I only knew her as @BigBlueMug on Twitter. She is, in fact, one of my earliest Twitter contacts from way back when I was first learning to tweet. She carefully guards her online privacy so I’ll just call her Margaret.
I love Margaret’s playful spirit. She conjures up stories about the monster in the old laundry chute and her imaginary friend named “Gertrude” who lives in the cellar. I often miss the playful banter we used to enjoy in the “glory days” of Twitter. I remember one time, in particular, where I wondered aloud if my bras would dry faster if I hung them on the ceiling fan and put it on high. She thought that was a grand idea and suggested I put stuffed animals in them for a carnival ride. I think we were both laughing our heads off during that series of tweets. I need people like her to keep me laughing even when life is hard.
Margaret often tweets in Haiku. I admire her skill in this odd form of verse because it has always seemed (to me) that Haiku is too complicated. Who wants to count syllables? I can’t even remember how many to use for the structure. But when she shares Haiku, it seems so natural. She’s actually taught me to appreciate the art form.
The thing I admire most about Margaret is her love for home and family. She often shares the menu she has planned for dinner and it always sounds fabulous. Except for peas. I don’t like peas. This made me think of Zacchaeus because he was so excited to have Jesus come to his house. Like Zacchaeus, Margaret seems to enjoy preparing her house and family time as if Jesus is coming over for dinner.
Margaret’s joy, even in difficult times, is an inspiration to me. She has often encouraged me when I’m down—and even when I know she’s going through a tough time, too. She exudes joy because Jesus lives with her. Maybe those noises in the cellar aren’t really a monster after all.
For her joy and excitement in the Lord, I am pleased to honor Margaret with the Joy of Zacchaeus Award.
Joy of Zacchaeus Award
Zacchaeus was eager to see Jesus and overcame obstacles (his short stature) to do so. He was overjoyed when Jesus invited himself over for dinner. During the celebration that ensued, Zacchaeus found his joy overflowing with generosity toward others. For this reason, the recipient of the Joy of Zacchaeus Award is someone who is the embodiment of joy.
Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy (Luke 19:6).