Pheasant-Hunting with a Pen & Author in Turkey
Stabbing in the black plastic fork, I pulled it back. Speared green spinach leaves, tangy apple squares, and salty slivers of Swiss cheese dangled haphazardly for a moment. Self-consciously helping a few stray spinach stems back into my mouth, I pulled the Bible closer with my other hand.
|Photo Credit: Flickr User K. Hurley, Creative Commons cc license|
Paul, one of the authors of the Bible, had penned words from ancient Turkey. Their poetic beauty and powerful life-changing truths grabbed me, yet I found myself stopping to read and re-read them.
Do Bible sections trip you up sometimes too? Paul’s long sentences drip with parenthetical clauses and commas. I find myself tracking subject-verb trails like a pheasant hunter or an editor with a red pen. As the words-lover in me grows and stretches taller each year, I discover that my method of studying and learning has changed too.
Armed with pens, colored pencils, and endless notebooks, I’ve learned that writing out Paul’s sentences and diagramming them reveals new beauty and understanding to me. Dissecting his subjects, verbs, prepositions, and clauses, I suddenly see his passages flood with clearer meaning. Patterns and repeated words pop out. Joy pours in. The words hum with intensity, and my eyes trace and re-trace the lines. “Wow, look at this!” I point to friends and family nearby.
Today I diagrammed four verses from the book named after the Turkish city of Ephesus. Sentences by a Roman Jew, imbued with the Creator’s Spirit, sizzled excitement and truth to my European-American heart. Grab your plate and join me?
I pray that out of his glorious riches
he may strengthen you with power
through his Spirit in your inner being,
Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
And I pray that you,
being rooted and established in love,
may have power,
together with all the saints,
is the love of Christ,
and to know
this love that surpasses knowledge
–that you may be filled
to the measure
of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)
What have you been snagging for quick easy lunches? And where have you been reading lately? (Those in email can click here to join the conversations.)
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