The Story of David

By all common sense David was a terrible King. You could have given David a textbook on how to be king - perhaps The Prince by Machiavelli - and he would have tossed it over his shoulder.

He always forgave his enemies.


Missions wasn't over for me when I returned home in South Orange. Before the end of my first week back at the Men's House, I hosted and spoke at Seton Hall's Campus Ministry Event about my commissioned painting of King David. (Click here to see its unveiling in Loudon, TN).

My client let me borrow the painting for the event, and my father drove the full 11 hours to bring it up from Tennessee to New Jersey.

Thank you Dean Strawser of the Business School and Fr. Ranieri of the Honors Program for attending the event! I felt very honored by your presence.

Here are few video clips of the event!


We started off by splitting into groups with an encouragement to sit with new or unfamiliar faces. I wanted to do this to foster fruitful discussion, catalyzed by different perspectives, while allowing student missionaries to relationally reach out to newcomers.

I handed out a pageful of "Two Truths and a Lie" I had made about King David, increasing the difficulty as groups progressed down the page. The vision here was to break the ice within groups and to incubate people's curiosity as to who this David guy was. Here's a brief example (try to find the lie):

Level: Attention to Details (answer at the bottom of page)

1. After David and Bathsheba's son died, he fasted and wept for so many days that his servants thought he might "do something desperate."

2. David rescued a sheep from a lion's mouth, and then seized the lion by the hair and killed it.

3. David acted like a madman in the presence of an enemy king, letting saliva run down his beard.

Following the answers to the game, I then proceeded to simply tell David's story, using the Bible as my primary source. Through my studies on King David I have come to know David's story more or less by heart. I weaved through direct recitation of scriptures, summarized stories, and supplemented some parts with my own conclusive opinions (though I told them if I was stating one).

It was somewhat akin to an unrefined or shortened Word by Heart presentation - something I've begun developing a keen interest with. Here's a video explaining how it works:

I could have spent another hour unpacking David's story so I honed in on one theme: mercy. I highlighted the many moments in David's life when he forgave his - some even treacherous -enemies.

This opened up to another group discussion about mercy and other insights gleaned from the story, which people then got to voice aloud to the entire audience.

What does it mean to be a man after God's own heart?

After this discussion we delved into a final group discussion about the painting and what people were getting out of it. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing people share their perspective - they saw amazing things I never saw myself!

Finally, I shared my personal meaning and intentions about the painting before closing it out with fellowship time and a game of Pictionary.

What sticks out to you in the painting? Send me an email with your thoughts; I'd consider it a blessing to hear them.

Answer: number 1 is a lie.


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