Monday, March 27, 2017

“You may be the only Bible that some people will ever read.” — sign outside a church in New England

            I really like the sign I saw that I quoted above.  The Bible exists in two forms: the Bible read and the Bible lived.  If we only had the Bible to read, I doubt that Christianity would ever have amounted to much.  It is because we can see the Bible "lived" in others that we know we, too, can do what Christ asked us to do in the words recorded in the Bible.  I, personally, have known many of these "living Bible" people, and they occupy a special place in my heart.   In my first full-time appointment in Gravette, Arkansas, I met several.  One was a man whose career consisted of being a grocery sacker at a local grocery store.  Not much to admire there, but he also spent all his free time taking care of others, bringing medication to the sick, serving as a taxi for elderly women on Sunday to get them to church, and helping in just about every way possible.  A man with little education, little income, but a huge heart and one of the brightest lights in Christianity I have ever seen.  I met another one of these who was a nun in a convent in Greece on my trip that started with Sharon Stone (fairly recent blog).  The Holy Spirit just seemed to shine out of this small nun, so I asked if I could take her picture.  Through a translator (she spoke no English and I no Greek) she asked why I wanted her picture.  When I explained that it was because her holiness had affected me so intensely, she asked, “Why then do you want my image on a piece of paper?  Wouldn't it be better,” she asked, “to carry me in your heart?”  So, that's where I carry her to this day (I have no picture on paper), as we all carry those who have shown us how to be holy in this very, very secular world.   When it seems that Christ's words seem just too impossible to follow, I can always remember someone who followed them anyway, be it a teacher, a parent, a friend, or someone I just read about.  It is not enough to read the Bible; it must be lived.  Christ himself said, "Be ye doers of the Word, and not just hearers only." 
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