Yesterday I saw the final proofs for my book, The Story of King Jesus. Two years, three months, and I don’t know how many drafts since the original… and it’s finally off to the printer.
Well… no, actually. It’s not “my book.” Before anything else, The Story of King Jesus is the book I wrote for my daughter. I started writing it because I wanted to introduce her to a vibrant, living faith—instead of a formula for getting out of hell.
Recently, I’ve been reading the story to her. I’ve listened as she whispers some of the words to herself. I’ve watched her trace the images with her fingers. I’ve tried (unsuccessfully) to suppress a big, stupid grin when she asks me to read it to her “three more times.” (I don’t care if you’re just stalling before bed, Elizabeth. That’s one request I’ll gladly indulge.) And I’ve felt a mix of responsibility and excitement as the book prompts conversations about how we get to be part of making God’s world right and good again—right here and now.
It’s not “my book.” It’s also the work of an amazing illustrator named Nick Lee, who’s put about as much of himself into the design as I put of myself into the words.
Nick’s art inspires me. He captures all the things—the wonder, the hardship, the struggle, and the hope of the biblical story.
We all have a mental picture of Jesus in our heads. Unfortunately, for many of us, that picture looks something like the Norwegian supermodel Jesus of Hollywood films. (No offense to any attractive Norwegians reading this.) All I can say is, if my daughter’s mental picture of Jesus is influenced by Nick’s art, I’ll be pretty happy with that.
It’s not “my book.” I hope it will be yours and your kids, too.
Here are some of the first few spreads from the book, where our story begins. I can’t wait to share the rest with you.
Photo credit: Nick Lee