Once upon a time, when I read the Bible, I saw flannelgraph people. People in static attitudes, dressed in impressive ancient costumes, saying their lines. Holy people. (With a few exceptions of course.)

Now when I read the Bible, I see people.

People with hearts that scream for love, for victory, for vengeance. People who've been longing all their lives for freedom, for a child, for a promise kept. People who have just been asked to tear their own heart out. People facing choices that must destroy them. People standing at the dark heart of their own stories, where you and I have stood; broken. Beyond tears. Going on.

People meeting God in a place they never could have imagined. In the secret place of thunder.

I know the Bible doesn't read like that, sometimes.

Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh, so the socket of Jacob's thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. Then he said, "Let me go, for the dawn is breaking." But he said, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."

All right. Nice dialogue. But where's the scene? Where's the darkness, the faint moonlight that gleams on the sweat running down the two straining backs—the man and the angel, the Unknown, the strange wrestler by the river in the night. Where is Jacob's ragged breathing, his hoarse shout as he breaks the stranger's grip once again, where is the quiet sound of the water behind him, the thundering of his heart?

It's in there. If you search for it. I've been doing some searching.

The writings on this site are the fruit of it. It's not quite, not exactly, about making the Bible come alive; it's about making its deep, wild life a little more visible. It's about doing what I can against the stiff, lifeless way in which the Bible is treated in so many churches—and viewed by so many non-Christians, ex-Christians, doubting Christians, sure Christians—maybe you.

I want you to hear the thunder.

I want you to pass it on to others, too. These readings are meant to be read aloud. Bring them to your church, have them read aloud during a service, at a small group, at an event or a retreat. Use them to shake people up a little, to make them remember that these people lived and died and suffered and cried glory, that as far as the disciples knew on Holy Saturday Jesus was going to rot, that what happened the next morning was not a joyous celebration but an earthshaking wonder, beyond belief.

Use them. Please.