As a child nestled to my grandmother’s side as she read the bible (king James version) absorbing the word along with her scent and warmth I was at times frustrated with the words. I didn’t understand what I was hearing nor what I read. My understanding was infantile, in its infancy. My comprehension was literal and my grandmother ever indulgent would laugh her robust laugh, a sound that echoed and bounced around in the soft evening light of her bedroom. She’d just threw back her head in merriment at my childish indignation.
One example of my indignation was tied to the verse, “forgive them Lord for they know not what they do,” in reference to the crucifixion of Christ. I would argue, ‘what does it mean, they know not?, of course they do, they crucified him!’ ‘how could they not know!’
The other point of contention was, “those who have eyes would see,” “those who have ears would hear.” Again I was livid turning fierce eyes to my grandmother I would say, ‘I have eyes, I can see, I am looking at you now! I have ears, I can hear am listening to now! Frustration furred my brows, my little hands in fists at my side. Again she would dissolve into gales of laughter hugging me tight.
Fascinated and spurred by the desire to know I would go into granny’s room when she was away at work as if to discover the secret to this knowing. I’d retrieve the bible and read in my thirst to understand but only became more confused with words like “cometh.” “thus,” “seeth,” “noisome pestilence.” (Words that are so clear now but were so confusing then) frustrated I’d close the bible with a pap and leave.
My understanding then like most children was very literal, specific to the word itself, its immediate meaning, not the meaning(s) behind the meaning, the context, the analogy, the subtext, it simply was never part of the equation in my thinking.
Meaning though restricted I later realized resided inside me though I couldn’t decipher it. Granny’s explanations didn’t help as she seem to speak in riddles, the riddles I discovered as a young adult were parables. Whenever I ask her to explain her explanations she would advice me to pray and ask for clarity and understanding and the wisdom how to use the knowledge.
Today that clarity resounded loudly and understanding resonated into a familiar knowing. A knowing so is crisp and unencumbered by questions that I laugh a robust laugh hearing my grandmother join in as realization dawned that this sudden knowing is not sudden at all rather it laid in me waiting patiently for my readiness to accept and embrace its revelation.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
I laugh a scandalously robust laugh. The feeling was euphoric and freeing, the level of frustration is no more.
I realize that although many of us are grown our knowing and understanding is infantile. Our clarity is muddled, crowded with the trails of daily living that influences how we hear, how we see the world and our place in it. Our internal knowing is lost, buried within because we are occupied with searching externally for answers instead of internally-where God resides.
Granny was/is right. In confusion we need to pray, pray for clarity, for understanding and the wisdom to decipher and appropriately use/apply the knowledge.
…”be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart…”
Sometimes though challenging we need to be still, be patient, listen and hear beyond hearing, see beyond seeing.
Thanks for sharing your time with me.