by Ruth DuCharme
published in Family Matters eNewsletter April 25, 2019
Unlike my husband, I don't have one of those memories that easily retains numbers and dates. I don't do math well in my head, and if you tell me your phone number I will need to write it down, or it is lost on me. When I meet someone for the first time I have to associate their name with something in order to recall it later. That is just the way that my mind is wired. I need repetition and association to remember.
The numbers and names that do roll off of my tongue with ease are those that I have spoken over and over throughout my lifetime. My childhood phone number still comes easily to mind. Spouting off my social security number takes little effort after writing it on hundreds of applications and medical forms. The birthdates of my family members cause me no problem. Repetition and steady use over the years make the recall of these things second nature for me.
Sometimes at Highland Hills when I am sharing a Bible story with our children, one of them will eagerly say, "I've heard this story before." My reply to them is, "good, let's tell it again."
The stories of our faith are a gift to us. They are not just for the youngest among us, but scripture is intended to be a gift for life. Scripture draws us closer to God and brings healing to our weak and wounded spirits. The absorbing and understanding of scripture come over time spent hearing, reading, and studying.
Abba Poemen, an early Christian monk, said this about the steady healing power of scripture, "The nature of water is soft, that of a stone is hard; but if a bottle is hung above the stone, allowing the water to fall drop by drop, it wears away the stone. So, it is with the word of God; it is soft and our heart is hard, but the one who hears the word of God often opens their heart to the fear of God."
Hearing and repeating the words of scripture have the ability to form our faith. The spiritual disciplines of Bible study and worship have the power to change us individually and corporately. If we are going to be children of God, disciples of Christ, people of faith on mission to carry light and love to the world, then we need to let the words of scripture drip slowly and constantly on our lives.
We are fresh from sharing the story of death and resurrection once again. Now we are challenged to live into that hope - to come and let the words of God bath us in newness of life - word by word - drop by drop.