Tuesday, February 19, 2008

How to Read Bread, 2.

Happy birthday, Gram!!

阿媽 was my earliest example of piety. The imprints are deep in my memory. Every morning I could count on seeing her strain her eyes over her Chinese Bible, with Hiragana notes pencilled in here and there. Every night she stooped her ailing back to kneel on her arthritic knees by her bedside to pray, before おやすみなさい!

What is it that draws her again and again day after day to the well? Unless it's thirst for water, it makes no sense to me. I have not the discipline. Lord, show me my thirst, and let me drink deeply.

No, the Bible isn't a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It's an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It's a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne—everything—to rescue the one he loves. It's like the most wonderful of fairy tales that have come true in real life! 
You see the best thing about this Story is—it’s true.
I stumbled upon The Jesus Storybook Bible the other day and could finished it cover to cover in a single sitting, with laughter and tears. What?! I felt so silly for buying a *picture* book for myself and sillier for giggling out loud alone and silliest for being moved to tears but I couldn't put it down. It was compelling and alive in a way that I pray the (adult? real? unabridged? lol) Bible will be to me some soon day. I felt like I was hearing the Story for the first time so clearly. Growing up, the book was to me an anthology of many stories, or a manual to consult only occasionally.
He would be called “The Word” because he himself would be God’s Message. God’s Message translated into our own language. Everything God wanted to say to the whole world—in a Person.
God, help me to read the Bible as one Story. To thirst and hunger and hang on every word that proceeds from You. And on You, Jesus, the Word enfleshed. Thank You for Grandma and for another year of faithfulness, hers and Yours. And for children's books. Could it all be true?? The Grand Fairy Tale? O God if it's true, sign me up, and give me faith like a child!

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