A word, a phrase, a thought, a truth. Day after day I come again to the ancient text that molds and shapes me – looking, searching.
In my closet are boxes of journals, outlining and unraveling the mysteries of Jesus in loopy teenage scrawl, and tight collegiate script, and hurried adult handwriting. Pages full of truth copied, paraphrased, understood, and wrestled with. The words sometimes reflecting transformation in this life, sometimes stagnation.
Over the years, I’ve come to God’s word with a plan – reading those books in an annual progression. I’ve come to God’s word with an idea – searching those pages for a theme. I’ve come with pain – seeking comfort. I’ve come with questions – looking for answers.
And I’ve come to this book looking for Jesus, and most of the time, I find him. Though sometimes, when I come to those pages so proud and demanding, “show me Jesus!” I leave alone, isolated by my own sinfulness. But the holy book reveals that to me as well.
I’ve been a student of this book, a teacher of this book, an observer, a critic, an analyst, and an audience.
During the dark days of chemotherapy and the few months just after, I had a hard time focusing, so I spent very little time reading in general, even this Word. But that Living Book wouldn’t let me go. A verse would emerge from the depths of my foggy memory; the pages would open to the right Psalm at the right time . . . efficiently for a brain that couldn’t linger; and these words came from the mouths of friends, saints who knew my struggles and my need for truth.
I would like a more nuanced spirituality, if you’d really like to know. One in which I connect with Jesus most fully through silence or simplicity. But the one spiritual practice that has most deeply affected my relationship with Jesus is engaging with that Word of His. Day after day, year after year.
I am writing today by blogging invitation of A Holy Experience. Each Wednesday, Ann Voskamp and friends “Walk with Him,” posting a spiritual practice that draws us nearer to His heart.
Today, we are writing about the one spiritual practice that has most deeply effected our relationship with Jesus.