Thursday, July 19, 2012

Scripture in my childhood

This is part of a series on Stones of Remembrance as I remember the hand of God in my life.

The memories are piled in my mind like a box of old photographs.

The picture on top of the pile is little brown haired me with awkward bangs leaning close against my mother. It is Sunday morning and we are two pews from the front of the church. "Backrow Baptist" was a foreign concept to my family. I loved to sit next to my mom and flip through the pages of her Bible as the preacher talked. There was an intricate system of colors and symbols filling the pages of her Bible. The page would be covered with triangles and circles, clouds and underlines. Highlighter marks of varying hues made the page a colorful piece of art. Notes and dates in the margins gave testament to the years of growth and learning.

Flipping through the pile of photographs in my head and here's another fond memory. My brothers, my father, and I are seated around a large kitchen table that fills the small eat-in kitchen of our home. Our breakfast plates are pushed away, school lunches sit packed on the counter, and the sun is just peeking through the window of the back door. We each have a Bible opened before us. Dad would lead my brothers and I in reading chapters of the Bible verse-by-verse, each of us taking a turn to read. Our mouths grew confident in pronouncing the King James wording and we'd occasionally have discussions on the verses, but mostly I seem to remember we just read and the words moved from our mouths to our head and our hearts.

And this memory with that same kitchen table - I'm perched with my knees in a chair and elbows on the table peeking at my parents' notebooks full of diagrams of the statue in the dream in the book of Daniel, the tabernacle, or a chart depicting the Kings of Israel. They memorized verses for Master Life and talked about Experiencing God. I feel as I have always known that the statue had clay feet and that the priest entered the tabernacle with a rope tied to them so they could be pulled out in case the presence of the Lord simply overwhelmed their life.

I shuffle through the pictures in my head . . .

I catch a glimpse of my brothers and I singing along to a kids' music video, Beloved, let us love one another . . .he who loveth not (clap! clap! Clap!) knoweth not God for God is love. Beloved, let us love one another. First John four seven and eight!

In this one we are in position for our little family Bible Drill. Palms flat against the covers of our Bibles, poised to race to the exact location my father calls out.

Here, a photo of Strong's Concordance and I fondly remember that time third grade me asked my Dad, "Is such and such ok?" and he pulled that heavy book off the shelf, taught me how to use a concordance, about Hebrew and Greek, and we flipped back and forth between definitions and passages and studied that topic.

The words of God were ever present in my childhood. Bibles lay close by and were often opened. The words became audible as my parents spoke them, often seamlessly, into conversations about daily life.

They laid up the words of God in their heart and in their soul. They taught them to their children, talking of them when we sat in our house, and when were walking, and at night and in the morning. The words of God were written on our walls. (Deut 11:18-20)

This first stone of remembrance is for the blessing of a childhood with parents that sought the word of God and made knowing and understanding that Word a priority.

Other Stones of Remembrance:
Scripture in My Childhood
The Church That Built Me
Ode to the Internet
Meeting Together
When You Return: Faith Refined

1 comment:

  1. What you've described here is what I hope to give my children. This was amazing, Nicole. Beautiful.