Wednesday 5 May 2010

A Thought for The Day?

The other day someone asked; “Can you help me Chris?”

I looked around for a convenient escape route; there was none so I answered “sure”.

“Do you know anything about the bible?”

I wasn’t expecting that.

‘Er, big book?”

“That’s it!”

But in fact the conversation didn’t end there as I had hoped, but continued and I was called upon to use all my early experience gathered from attending bible study and Sunday school for most of my childhood (and a frighteningly more-than-necessary chunk of my informative adolescent years).

I can, to the exact moment, say when this study came to an end.

It was a Saturday evening and I was playing ping-pong at the Sunday school youth club when Carla, who with hindsight was clearly no nun, invited me outside for a kiss.

I wasn’t sure the Lord intended her tongue to be used in that way but it was a moment of revelation second only to Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus and I, like him, became an instant convert and became her disciple for the rest of the month, until she ascended to a higher plane.

I think Jesus at some point in his career said – you are with me or against me – with Carla I attempted both as often as possible until all things church were overgrown with weeds and forgetfulness.

“How can I find the story about the two women who were arguing about a child?”



“Sorry, I was thinking about… what?”

“Women in the bible arguing about a child and was the mother.”

“Ah, that would be Solomon.” I knew the story well - the wise old man who offered to cut the child in two all the time knowing that the real mother would show herself by her compassion. I had once even used the principle to try to resolve a heated dispute between my two children, when they were much younger, about whose turn it was to sit in the front seat of the car

“OK! I’ll cut the thing in half and you can share the stupid thing “, I yelled, picking up the chain saw for dramatic effect.
It worked.

They stopped arguing, looked at me and in unison said – “You’re mad” and walked back into the house to find mum.

Anyway, to keep a short story from getting even longer -(because I might go on and tell you about the face-saving timetable for front car seat usage that I drew up and was still proving very useful during a recent 2000km round-trip drive to England) - with a few clickity-clicks, scroll-up-n-down we found the relevant passage.

I hadn’t read the bible for a long time obviously, though I recently picked it up for a moment to check some outrageous conspiratorial theory about Shakespeare AND there are TWO copies of the tome sitting on my bookshelves that miraculously survived the ravages of last summer’s (controversial) book burning.

However, only yesterday I found myself reading it again and for one surreal moment during the evening Krissie and I were sitting on the sofa each reading a copy, before we came to our senses and put them away to watch Dr Who.

The reason for this religious fervour might have something to with my recently departed mother-in-law, I believe Krissie was seriously thinking of bringing home a 18th century family-bible heirloom that weighs more than my bad conscious before I pointed out that the two already gathering dust on the bookshelf would probably be enough to cover all future occasions.

I added that as she had successfully avoided picking the thing up once in the almost-25 years that we have been together it was probably better to take the GPS. I’m not sure that SatNat will lead you to heaven but you can always pray.

Just before we put the Bibles away for a few more years we read to each other, in the intimate way only middle aged couples can, the paragraphs that had caught our imagination.

I went first, after all i was simply looking for a good story to inspire a blog post and i had been leafing, as one does, through Eccclesiastes - a word i can't even pronounce without choking, let alone spell with the correct number of Cs.

Chapter 3 - "To every time there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven............a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together." Hmm, i must do some gardening.

Krissie's Bible, a gift from her Uncle Eric on her 21st birthday - a time when he clearly thought she should know better - has a verse inscribed under the dedication that he wrote; Galatians chapter six line ten - which you probably don't remember.

"So then, as often as we have the chance, we should do good to everyone, and especially to those who belong to our family in the faith."

The other day someone asked; “Can you help me Chris?”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh horray you're back Loved todays and yesterdays and the one before that - I was putting on a show so I got triple blog this evening and they were all great xxxx I love it when I feel I am back in your life and I get glimpses of the heart of the family spilling out all over the house and land - roll on summer I can't wait to be included Sx