Monday, December 9, 2013

Reading the Bible: Learning from my grandmother's stiff upper lip

My very British grandmother became a nurse at the age of 14 as the war with Germany was escalating and the Germans were practicing the newly developed and imprecise science of rocketry on the stiff upper lips of Londoners. This meant that each time my grandmother took the train back to the hospital in London where she worked, another building around the hospital was gone, along with the people who were in it at the time the rocket fell. In spite of this daily danger the doctors and nurses, including my grandmother, stubbornly fixed their jaws and served the people of London, running up to the roof to extinguish incendiary bombs as they fell on the roof, rescuing patients from the basement as it flooded with water from a broken water main, and in countless other ways demonstrating a kind of courage that we rarely see in o
ur soft and self-centered world today.

As I seek to help young men to understand why they should love the Bible and how to approach such a unique text, it has occurred to me that the same reasons my heart would beat a little faster and a smile would creep over my face as I heard my grandmother tell her stories are the same reasons that should cause us to thrill at the message of the Bible.

Why should I have cared so much about my grandmother’s stories? My grandmother is dead. I wasn't