I knew what the lectionary scriptures were for Sunday. I knew because on Saturday, the pastor who taught the course I was attending read them aloud to the class. We were talking about the church as a body that transforms, and he read to us from Jonah about the transformation of the people of Nineveh. He read to us from 1 Corinthians that this world in its present form is passing away…
And when he read those words aloud in class we all looked wide-eyed at one another and smiled and proclaimed about the timing of God. But when my pastor reads them from the pulpit on Sunday—my eyes well with tears of recognition.
I don’t know the way to transformation without the Word.
Every week my friends and I gather to study it—this life-giving, seed-planting, world-transforming Word. We’ve done it for years, gathered around the teachings of Kay and Beth and Priscilla and Jennifer…too many Word givers to count. We started a new one a couple weeks ago, and how my heart celebrates the way this small group of women holds together this way—the way we love each other through the stuff of life.
And today, when Dr. Henry tells me that to correct my son’s vision…to correct his vision we really should have caught it before age seven…When he says this, I need the anchor of all those words we’ve studied together. He just turned 15, for Pete’s sake, and this means he’s spent more than half his life with this visual deficit, and how could I have missed this? How could I not know?
Dr. Henry sees it on my face and he looks me straight in the eye, bless his beautiful heart, and he says, you are not a bad mother. He says a lot of other things too, including no depth perception and he’ll never drive a big rig and his other eye is perfect.
And I spend all evening trying to hide tears, feeling small as a mother, small in faith, and I flee the house…just to be alone. I can’t take the piles of laundry and paper and dog hair and everything I should be doing and…and…and I can’t breathe.
How could I not know?
I know it’s not the end of the world but somehow it feels a bit like it. And I sit in the car at K-mart and suddenly, I remember this:
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. –Colossians 3:3-4
And somehow, it calms my heart. I ponder what it means—to be hidden in Christ. And just what kind of glory will we appear in? I feel the sure, slow hand of God remind me that this is not the end. This is not our home. And one day…one day we all will be given new eyes.
Oh, praise God for his goodness.
I would not have had that verse in my heart if it wasn’t for my sister Ann—who encouraged me to memorize the book of Colossians in 2011. I didn’t think I could do it. But she broke it down…two verses a week. She generously made scripture cards available to make it easier. And gave some ideas for making the cards lovely. But I just glued them into a notebook. Well, sometimes I taped them. Mine weren’t pretty. But I stuck it out. And that old yellow notebook has a big part of my heart in it too.
These next few weeks my Bible study sisters and I are learning about James with Beth Moore. Beth encourages us to memorize the book of James. Her plan is faster, but I love Ann’s two verses a week. It keeps the words on my heart—these tiny bites feed a great hunger. There are 108 verses in James, that puts us just a couple weeks over a year to learn it, but that’s not too bad. **CORRECTION: I originally left out four verses (James 1: 23-26) but the document is corrected now. My thanks to Cindy Irby for her help with this. Please forgive? My eyes must have been all mixed up with words and dates and my double check somehow missed it. Thank you so much for your grace. But, if you would so like, here is the PDF to print out scripture memory cards for the book of James.
I used the Avery label 5388 to make them. If you buy Avery label 5388, when you print the document select the “actual size” option on the print screen. This should print out perfect for the index card size cards with perforated edges of Avery 5388. That way you won’t have to do any cutting.