Is It A Real Book If It Doesn’t Have Any Pictures?
The following question was posed by a young child to his grandmother when she allowed him to hold my recently released Christian fiction novel, One Night in Tehran. He quickly thumbed through the pages, handed it back to her with a note of disgust in his voice, and asked, “How can it be a real book if it doesn’t have any pictures?”
My book is full of words. There are no pictures. Can it be a real book then?
Authors who write books for young children use more images than words in their story because a child hasn’t learned to associate the printed letters on a page with objects, events, people, or emotions,. By “reading” such a book, the maturing child will gradually make the transition to fewer images and more words, eventually ending up with a book with no pictures, just words.
However, more mature readers still enjoy having pictures to help them visualize what they’re reading. I believe Jesus fully understood our innate desire to “picture” a concept through common objects. In fact, he constantly used “word pictures” to illustrate his teachings.
His word pictures—a desperate woman looking for a lost coin, a hungry boy eating corn husks, an ordinary field hiding a buried treasure—all served to mesmerize his listeners, drawing them into a story where, in the end, he could present them with Kingdom truth.
What is true for books—with or without pictures—is also true for the words we speak to one another every day. Our words serve to paint a picture, showing everyone around us, who we are and whom we serve. As we paint ourselves anew every morning, may we be like the Christ we serve and, in the end, present our listeners with Kingdom truth.
Proverbs 25:11 “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances.”