Ginger Garrett tackles the infamous and heroic Samson in her latest Biblical fiction novel, Desired. Enjoy this look at Samson!
My description of Samson has caused a bit of a stir. If he was a full-grown man who had never cut his hair or beard, he must have been a strange sight! We are so used to thinking of Samson as a good-looking, clean-cut guy from the movies, but I don’t think the biblical story supports that. I imagine he was probably a regular-sized guy, with decent muscles since they had very active lifestyles in ancient Israel. His hair was long, perhaps down to the floor. He looked like a lost member of ZZ Top. :-)
But, in light of this, my heart broke for him as a child, being so different from the other boys. He must have felt a lot of pressure, too, knowing that an angel had predicted his birth, and promised that he would be the one to begin the great deliverance of his people.
|© 1999 CBS Television|
I also wrote the story from his mother’s point of view. She was never given a name in the biblical story. Yet she raised the most notorious prodigal son in the history of the world. She was an older Jewish mother, and I imagined her to act and speak like Olympia Dukakis. That’s not a perfect match, but an endearing one, to me.
If I could pick an actor to play him, it would be Russell Crowe. But I would hate to cover up that handsome face! Samson was a strange sight, to be sure, but he taught us that physical appearance is not the heart of our story. Neither is our own strength. We don’t have to be strong, beautiful or popular for God to use us. We don’t have to be perfect, either. It’s not about us in any way. Our stories are about what God can do through us, despite us.
Strengths and weaknesses
Samson was burdened by his calling. He was given to rages and depression. But he hated injustice and loved a broken woman. His mother endured years of confusion and disillusionment. She was prone to question God repeatedly, and to nag Samson into doing what she thought was right.
I’m raising a son myself, so it was easy to imagine the heartache of Samson’s mother. So much is at stake in their lives, and when they make poor decisions, it just kills us. And for Samson, it was not hard to imagine how he felt, especially when you consider that most of all, he felt different.
Background to the story
DESIRED: The Untold Story of Samson& Delilah
Desired tells the story of the legendary strongman through the eyes of the three most important women in his life. The fiercely loving Jewish mother who nags him toward greatness…and rebellion. The impoverished Philistine girl, Amara, who becomes Samson’s bride. And the emotionally damaged seductress—the legendary Delilah—who becomes the instrument of his destruction and the key to his tragic triumph. Poetic, meticulously researched, and jaw-droppingly honest, Desired ultimately celebrates the God of Israel’s ability to work mightily despite our human weakness.