I don’t read my Bible.
A slave to my disability, a word aptly spoken is a word better than one read.
For those of you who know me, I am an author who does not read.
For those of you who don’t know me, I am an author who does not read.
In grade school, I was labeled trouble.
In middle school, a dunce.
In high school… can we skip over the names I earned in high school?
In college… I was sent packing.
Until one University, Abilene Christian University, asked if I had ever been tested for learning disabilities.
I am dyslexic.
I don’t read.
I listen to some books. I highlight others. And brace yourself… I don’t read the Bible. Black and white text sends me into a fetal position. The words bounce on the page. My heart races, my hands tremor, and I feel altogether sick.
When I finished graduate school with a Masters of Education in Counseling and Human Development one of my professors said to me, “Well, there you have it, an illiterate with a graduate degree.”
And then I got in my car with my husband, our three-year-old, and our 2 –day-old son, and I breathed a sigh of relief.
I fooled them.
Don’t pity me. I don’t believe that anymore. But I fully believed it then. I did my Master Orals on the 15th and gave birth the next morning to our son. The following weekend I strutted my milk engorged boobs and post-pregnancy hiney across the stage to receive my diploma. I was all kinds of bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and then give birth in time to walk across the stage, with honors… with a 3rd-grade reading ability, kind of woman.
And now, I am a published Christian author, who doesn’t read her bible.
The ironies never cease.
But this time… I am not faking it.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.
And He dwells in me.
And He alone has set me free of many a lie.
That I am trouble.
That I am a dunce.
And that I am those other things that I emphatically asked you not to bring up.
I am not a fraud.
And I didn’t need to fool anyone.
I believe that He was in the beginning with God, all things were made through Him, and without Him, nothing was made.
I have a couple of bibles. One that I adore from my friends at Lifetree is a prized possession. For of the Word I have read, the Word that is most highlighted in my “Jesus Centered” Bible are the words I always could read.
Words in red.
Those red words are the Words that became flesh and dwelt among us. And I have seen His glory. GLORY as of the only Son, from the Father, full of Grace and Truth.
That Word may bounce on the page, be blurred and unclear. But the Word that travels through my heart, through every vessel, artery, and capillaries, then penetrates my soul and is inscribed on every bone, joint and ligament of my body, is not limited by the Word written in the latest jargon in the clearance bin at Walmart.
If only the Word, which my American self is obsessed with, were only available to the prosperous and Dollar Tree economy on every corner in the land of the Free… would He have found me?
If I were blind, deaf, and dumb… would He have still not chased after me with the fervor by which He was nailed to that piney coffin?
I must ask, no disrespect, but when it is said, “We must abide in the Word…” wasn’t that Word unavailable to masses in the aged old Jerusalem?
Not neatly hidden in a hotel drawer.
Not flippantly handed out at the last retreat.
And certainly not hidden at the bottom of a bargain bin, was not the Word – JESUS?
He moves how He moves.
He saves how He saves.
He is with me and you cannot convince me otherwise.
He wants me to believe I am HIS.
I believe, if I were a girl in a tent in a land far from here, He would find me.
I believe, if I were a soldier, in a foreign land, asleep under the stars far from those I know and love, He would find me.
I believe, if I were a slave, shackled to a stony wall, He would come to comfort me.
Oh, but we have Americanized Him; the Sheppard who appears to Muslims as they slumber, the Lion who speaks peace to the ages, and the Lamb who will go to slaughter for the herd.
Truly you will not convince me that the study of the printed Word is grander than the devotion to His Son. The Son, Who was and is the Word and can reach as far as the East is from the West. Surely I am free from sin and condemnation as I wander through the wheat fields on the Sabbath… plucking the heads off grain freely and relishing in His Glory.
Lord, I am most grateful that I can hold this Word in my advantaged fleshy hands. Let me never forget the honor.
And never heal me of my disabilities.
Never let me read your Word without struggle or trial, for blessed are they who hunger and thirst, for they should be filled.
Let me never know the Truth, unless it comes from You.
In my weakness I am strong. My love, my Lord, if only all were as lucky as I… disabled.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
Romans 8:37 (NIV) “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
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