Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Bible Becomes the Word

When I was a little boy, I lost my shoelaces. Regularly.

I wore desert boots back then—gray suede shoes that got their name from their color, I guess. In spite of their name, desert boots were actually very cool. And fashion being what it is, you can bet that one day soon they will be cool again.

Desert boots had only three rows of shoelace eyelets. The shoelaces were round and short and hard to tie. That was a problem for me because I had fine motor deficiencies as a kid. Nothing serious, but it meant I couldn’t hit the ball, catch it very often, and write or print neatly. And I couldn’t tie a nice bowknot either—especially with the short, round laces of my desert boots. Unfortunately, because the boots were cut too high to slip in and out of without retying, I couldn’t resort to granny knots either. I had to use a regular bowknot. That meant that my laces kept coming undone and, often, that I lost my laces altogether.

My mother, who was in almost every respect longsuffering and patient, finally lost patience with me on this score. She warned me not to lose any more laces—or else. Or else what? Or else I’d have to retrace my steps from home to the bus stop until I found my missing laces. Given that I had probably lost my laces at school and could probably never retrace my meandering route I took from the bus stop to home anyhow, the command to find the laces was about as hopeless a command as any a parent has ever given a child. Still, what could I do? Mom commanded, and so instead of watching “Leave It to Beaver,” I searched in vain for shoelaces.

But somehow, between those searches, I also learned to tie my shoes. Smart mom. She knew what she was doing.

I was reminded of that story while writing this week’s sermon. Isn’t that how it is with Scripture too? We search Scripture because we’re looking for something we’re pretty sure has to be there. And we search scripture because we’re told to do it by pastors, parents, and friends.

And then, somehow, even when we don’t find the specific thing we’re looking for, something wonderful may find us. Good news. The Bible becomes the Word.

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