All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Tim 3:16-17
We have lots of i’s in our home: iPods, iPads, iPhones. All of our i’s have apps: games, learning, productivity, photo editing, reading… We have iBooks, Kindle, Nook, and school and regional library reading apps. It’s amazing really…all the devices combined can hold thousands of books, probably more than I could read in a life time. I also have several digital bibles and can switch back and forth between versions faster than I could ever flip the old fashion chapter index tabs. But…newer doesn’t necessarily mean better. While I appreciate the convenience and portability of these devices, they definitely change the landscape of the reading experience. Swiping the electronic screen to the next page doesn’t have the same aesthetic sound and feel as the repetitive swish of a finger seeking the next page. Bookmarking feels incomplete. Electronic highlighting doesn’t feel like the old familiar act of blazing a trail through the sentences, drawing the most important words to the forefront of vision and memory.
While it’s convenient to download a book at home with the mere touch of a button, I still love to stroll the crowded aisles of bookstores, inspect the wares, flip the pages. I like displays that attract and please the eyes. I like books that entice with classy, well-designed covers. I’m always drawn to the bible display: bibles of every size and color and translation. I like leather bibles..the smell, the crisp pages, the words of Jesus emboldened red. Heavy. Weighted with truth, glory, and promise. I write personal notes, reminders, and whispers or shouts of encouragement in the margins and flip back through in remembrance during times of need and wondering. A finger here, a bookmark there, a scrap of paper, a church bulletin, an old picture…Searching for truth, for just the right word.
Not everyone is as fortunate. Some are forced to hide their word. They steal hidden, forbidden glances…then they hide it in their hearts. They risk all for the written word, the living Word. I am thankful that, at this moment in time, I can write the word, speak the work, possess the word with no immediate fear. I can share the word, sing the word, frame it on my wall, write it on my doorpost, or even tattoo on my skin if I choose. There is power and remembrance in both the spoken word and the written word.
I’m also thankful for the teachers, scholars, and students of the word who have researched, learned, listened, and then taught the word..sometimes forging the written word into expanded narratives, challenging lessons, and thoughtful ponderings.
These are the written words I’ve been exploring during the last few weeks. I am thankful that I don’t have to hide them, thankful they are readily available, and thankful for the weight I feel in my hand as I hold them and the lightness in my heart when I read them.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105