Old Wineskin



I am cleaning this kitchen, worrying over crumbs in floor as pots are scoured.

He is balancing on one leg, hopping in some unknown pattern across the tiles on this crumby floor.

“Do you think the animals in the Garden of Eden talked?”

We’ve been reading Genesis, and this boy has been turning our beginnings over and over in his mind; he asks new questions each day.

I hesitate. I am thinking of the Chronicles of Narnia, of the beavers with a capital “B”. I don’t want this child to think that This Story is a fairy tale.

“Ummm. What do you think? I think it would say if they did, don’t you? I mean, Adam was lonely for a mate…maybe because no one could talk back?”

He hops across two tiles, lands on alternate leg—never looking up.

“Well, I know they did.”

“You do? How so?”

“The serpent…”

His voice raises on the last syllable of this slithering word, as if explaining something to a child.

“Oh, yes, well, but that was the devil, see…”

But he is gone; hopped on to other things.

I stand alone, wet hands dripping, feeling that I just dropped something very important.

I’ll pick it up later, but for now…

For now I must admit that I am pleased that my boy child is pondering this familiar Bible story in his spare time.

He does this often—receives the familiar as fresh.

It’s his nature.

And I am this old wineskin, ready to rupture as the new ferments…

It’s all about the seeing again.

When I was 12, and my parents divorced, I carried my Bible with me everywhere I went for a season.

My world was falling apart, but I would cling to this…the One Thing that I knew would not change.

It was the first time I would read those words cover to cover—not understanding much of them, but clinging, breathing in their life.

They were real. Concrete. Stories to live by.

To this day, when someone says, “I don’t know if I believe the Bible literally”—this bothers me greatly.

These words were the only truth I knew during that season of my life. I know their power. They held me close many a night.

But because this was the way I cut my teeth on His Word, my mind is dull in many ways. I take these stories at face value. I relate them like bedtime tales.

But they are oh, so much more.

The layers of meaning in these Words…

Now that I am older, now that I have read much and studied more…

The meaning in these Words takes my breath away.

Yet still, sometimes they are flat to me.

It takes this hopping boy to open my eyes.

I’m still learning to see, my friends.

What beauty to behold.


  1. says

    I love this, Laura.
    I feel like I got to share the moment with you and your son I can picture it so well. It makes me miss my little boys. They are all so grown up now…….It goes so fast.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story with us.

    To be childlike with the Word………it is a beautiful thing……..always searching for something new and fresh and for now! So special to be reminded!

    Love you, Cheri

  2. says


    Isn’t it awesome that God is using your Son to teach you? I’m thinking wow…what a thing to ponder, then be comfortable to ask, and curious enough to ask. What a delightful Mom you must be!


  3. says

    Perhaps we should think like children do…Their questions seem to bring old stories alive. Then we see that it’s not just an old story…it’s God’s Word. He breathed it into the people who used ink to write it down.

    Thank you God for our kids.

  4. says

    One more way…to be like a child. Good thing to pray…Father, help me see as a child when I read Your Words. Stir that childlike wonder, awe and curiosity up inside of me. mmmm…feels good in my spirit. Thanks for sharing Laura…

  5. says

    Oh that we would all have eyes like a child to ponder over the Word and consider what jewels lie within its wonder.

    From one Ole Wineskin to another – blessings my friend!

  6. says

    Oh that the miraculous would never become mundane. I pray that His Word always stirs and awakens something within me. I trust it will be new, like His mercies toward me each morning and that I won’t over-think each Word, but let His Spirit reveal simple truths in profound settings.

    “Open my eyes that I may see,
    Glimpses of truth Thou has for me”,

  7. says

    I’m with you…totally.

    Sometimes I wish I could read the Word with “fresh, new” eyes… taking the truth into a new mind that is not all cluttered up with different ideas and opinions… children have this, don’t they… and it’s just so beautiful to be a part of their discovery. Wonderfully written, as always, Laura! :o)


  8. says

    wow Laura! I am so thankful to hear that you were able to hold onto the Word of God during your parents’ divorce. I really rejoice over that comfort! Your little hopping-boy is sweet!

    My parents divorced too, I was about 7 when they separarted. I don’t know if you had the chance to read a post of mine called “BROKE”. I wrote about my childhood memory of that night.


    Now that I am an adult, I praise God for my step-dad…. I really believe that if it weren’t for his Christian testimony in mine, my mom’s and my brother’s life that we still today might not be living in a saving relationship with our savior Jesus! Romans 8:28!!

    thanks for your sweet words over at my blog.
    goodnight friend.

  9. says

    Hi Laura, I can so relate to clinging to the Bible as the final say and the ultimate truth to everything in my life, because if we’re not able to do that everything else falls apart. Where then is our Hope?

    Your mention of the old wineskin reminded me off the verses in Psalm 119:

    “For I have become like a bottle [a wineskin blackened and shriveled] in the smoke [in which it hangs], yet do I not forget Your statutes.”

    and then also this wonderful assurance from the same passage:

    “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven (stands firm as the heavens)” and throughout the passage the reminder that His Word revives us and gives us life.

    So wonderful how your son is contemplating these stories!

  10. says

    teachable moments …

    when we’re standing there, with our hands full of, “uh-oh,” while everything else crashes to the floor.

    those moments so pregnant with pause…demanding our notice.

    know what inspires me here, laura? how your thoroughly wise child knew to deposit his gift before you and to keep moving on with the Spirit … on to other spectacular things.

    this is the life!!!!

  11. says

    I am always amazed at how tenderly He speaks to you through everything around you.

    Your eyes are open to see…. He reveals….

    I love watching.

    You are a beauty in HIs hands!

    Love ya, friend,

  12. says

    Laura, I love the way you let us be “with you” in that moment in the kitchen. Love the wineskin analogy, too! Oh, that we could all approach The Word like your son…

    My favorite part-that your son was comfortable with what he had discovered in the Word…that is priceless, as in immeasurable and invaluable!

    Sorry to hear of the pain you went through that caused you to carry your Bible, but so glad that He held you together during that time!

    God bless!

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