Years ago, just before going to England for one of my visits to be with Mum, and Dad, prior to his death in 2003, I asked him if we could read a chapter of the book of John every day while I was there. I must have been going for 3 weeks, because John has 21 chapters. I so love God's Word--it speaks to me so profoundly; and we were kindred spirits on so many levels, that I thought, "If only he would sit with me and allow the words to speak to him, how could he not 'see?'" But Dad said, "No," politely but firmly. I was so disappointed, but of course, in hindsight, I can see that Dad would have been scared to death of that kind of pressure.
This year, while I was in England I thought of how wonderful it would be to study the Bible with budding young adults the age of my older grandchildren (pre-teens,) so that they could absorb the truths of the Bible in more detail and depth than is possible during an hour in Sunday School. I longed also to impart an understanding of the importance of being drenched in God's Word, and knowing it well, to a generation bombarded by so many other voices and influences.
The morning after I arrived home, our two granddaughters, Tippy and Tori, who live downstairs, were getting ready to head out for school. I went down, as I often do, for hugs and goodbyes, and I asked them, would they like to start studying the Bible with me? To my joy, they responded with a resounding and enthusiastic, "Yes!"
Not wanting to put any pressure on them, so I told them to come upstairs after school when they were ready--I would be here as my first day home was a day off.
Later that day I saw the long yellow school bus pull up outside our house, bright in the clear autumn sunshine. I saw the girls get off and walk down our winding, tree lined driveway, littered with fallen leaves, wind in their long hair and backpacks slung from their shoulders. I heard their voices, bubbling with animated conversation as usual--they are eachother's best friends. I heard the bang of the side door to their apartment, the thud of bags dropping to the floor and the soft thunder of Molson running up the stairs to greet them.
I waited, and wondered...had they said yes just to please me? They are both sensitive souls and I know that they love me as dearly as I love them.
Would they even have remembered after a busy day at school?
I gave them some time to settle in, and then I could wait no more! I found an excuse to pop down with some item that needed to be delivered downstairs. I opened the door--and met them on the stairs coming up, trendy teen Bibles that were gifts from their mom, in their hands.
"You remembered!" I said.
"We've been looking forward to it," they replied.
So, one on each side of me on the couch, we began a journey together into the book of Esther; one of my favourite stories, filled with drama, intrigue, and lessons on character.
Half an hour later they closed their Bibles, with shining eyes. We have a date for next week--the next time our schedules allow. Already they know why it is important to know the Bible for ourselves--and I pray, oh, how I pray, that they will see the beauty, wisdom and passion in the Big Story of God's love--and come to love it for the rest of their lives.