"Whatever that noise is, I wish they'd shut it off," Max Lucado wrote in his latest book, Cast of Characters. He is telling about a trip he took with his family to see Iguacu Fallis in Brazil. Max was living there at the time and he wanted to impress his mom and her friend with all that he had learned about the world's largest waterfall. He was chatting away with all the facts and figures he had committed to memory as they wound their way through the jungle and got closer to the waterfall. The noise grew louder and louder so that he was shouting to be heard above the roar.
He says, "Only after reaching the clearance did I realize that the noise we heard was the waterfall... My words were drowned out by the force and fury of what I was trying to describe..."Lucado says as he looked at the massive waterfall all he could do was stand in awe of what God had done. Words could not describe the works of His hand.
The story serves as segue into Max's visitation of the Biblical story of Job. Lucado says "There are times when to speak is to violate the moment... when silence represents the highest respect." In the next few paragraphs Max brings Job to life and we can almost picture him debating and chatting away with his friends while God waits in the wings and listens. As the momentum builds we can imagine God stepping onto the stage and watch as Job looks up at him in awe as God finally has his say.
Lucado finishes his little story by saying that sometimes when the storms of life come, like they did to Job, like they do to all of us, we need to simply be still and set our sights on Him. For when we look on Him, nothing seems impossible, nothing seems beyond our grasp and hope returns again.
If you are looking for an inspirational read, this is it. I just finished reading Max Lucado's "Cast of Characters" and I highly recommend it. Max has a way of bringing the biblical characters to life. He connects the dots and adds color and character. In this book we meet the famous (Paul, Moses, David and Peter), the not so famous (Nicodemus, Esther,Jairus and Lazarus), and the nameless ones (the rich young ruler, the Samaritan woman, the paralyzed man and the two criminals at Golgatha) and learn a bit about them and their world. Lucado even takes some literary liberty and helps us connect to some of them by putting them in a world that we know.
For example Max introduces us to Hank, a custodian who wanders the halls of of a big office building with his mop bucket. Hank used to be Henry and he worked in an office like this. He had power and prestige. He was the boss. But then he went and killed a man. It was an accident. A thug had attacked an innocent man and when he intervened, Henry lost control and he hit the mugger too hard and killed him. He ran instead of facing the music. He took this job and left the rest all behind. That is until the day God spoke to him from out of the mop bucket! The first words he heard were these: "Take off your shoes, for you are on Holy Tile!" Sound familiar?
The point Max tries to make as he introduces us to the modern day Moses is that God speaks to all of us in unusual and unexpected ways. God reminds us that He is still with us no matter what we've done and He still has a job for us to do if we are willing to accept it.
I couldn't put this book down. It is written in short, easy to read chapters. Every character we meet has a compelling story and it is easy to see ourselves or someone we know in the eyes of the man or woman he brings to us. His point is that God uses common people to make a difference in the world. Their stories, our stories reveal the wonderful grace of God that is all around us.
So go get your copy now. You will thank me later.