Sunday, April 29, 2012

2012.04.29 This Bible is Amazing, Mom . . .Did You Know?

My youngest adult son John got interested in the Bible—not in the usual ways, like church, or by being lovingly schooled and nurtured in biblical story by his mother a priest.  It’s a little embarrassing but wondrous.

One day John walked into his therapist’s office for his session and saw his therapist reading from laminated pages. The therapist put down his pages but John was curious, a necessary virtue for growth.

What are you reading? John asked.

The gospel of Luke from the Bible, his therapist said.

The conversation and John’s session began, oddly, not with whatever John’s issues of the day were, but with the Bible.

To satisfy  John’s curiosity the therapist explained his interest in the Bible for its wisdom and amazing stories. He had no heavy-handed Christian agenda, or any agenda except following John’s agenda, which had suddenly become the Bible. (I love how good stuff spreads.)  The therapist, a sensitive apostle, explained that the pages of the Bible were fragile and tissue-thin so he’d laminated the ones he was reading to carry  around in his briefcase.

The conversation evolved as conversations of interest do, and John’s therapy that day included Bible study. Somehow his own life got laminated into those pages. It ended, as always, with some homework, not of the usual kind. The therapist suggested that John read the Gospel of John, a namesake of sorts,  in the New Testament.  

That’s when the phone calls started. Mom, this stuff is amazing.  Did you know all this?  Listen to this that Jesus said. Cool.  I think it means this.

It’s no small spiritual matter when someone engages scripture and the words written jump off the pages and into the mind and the heart.  Living Word.

To me this was like the God of Living Word, who has brought me to new life again and again, now bringing new life and insight to someone as beloved as John is to me.  Downright Easter!

“I’m trying Mark next, Mom.”

(Mark is the name of the gospel writer and of John’s step brother and good friend. I love how stuff spreads.)

P.S.  I read the Bible cover to cover,compulsively, when I was in 7th grade, looking for advice on dating. All I found was God getting women pregnant, which I definitely didn't want!  But I did learn that both testaments were shot through with a relationship pattern by which God and humanity connected, disconnected and reconnected—over and over without fail. That gave me hope. I concluded that the star of the Bible is not God or humanity but their relationship.


rix thinx said...


I love this post. Knowing the various journeys of your family members makes it a deeper story indeed.

Today at both services, Lydia and I were announced as the new mentors for EfM next year. I can hardly wait to begin another time of Bible reading and discussion and reflection.

So this is a little thank you to you and Dick for all the "gentle" shoves to begin this new thing in my life.

Today I spoke of the patch work quilt that is my spiritual and formational journey - tied together by the threads of liturgy and displaying a well used patch that has been my EfM formation and experience.

I look forward to the challenges ahead knwoing that my mentors are always close and so valued.

Yup - another Easter Moment!


Meg Forest said...

Hi Lyn,

Agree on loving this. Good stuff does spread. Thanks for pitching a bit this way. And I liked the connecting-disconnecting-reconnecting theme. Hopeful.


Lyn G. Brakeman said...

Thank you both for your encouraging comments. Some people have assumed John was young when he got to know the Bible.This was recent and he is 42. Amazing Easter happens at any age of course! Thanks Rick for the word on EfM As you know we offer supervisory guidance when needed or IF needed. I doubt you will need it.