The hubby and I were reading the Bible last night. It’s a bible-in-a-year edition that we borrowed from bestie, Flea. Each day includes Old and New Testament passages, a Psalm, and a Proverb. I love it. It’s refreshing to see the connective tissue throughout the scriptures. Last year I read the entire bible in chronological order.
It was my first time to read the whole bible. In the past, I read sections for purposes of study or passage look-up. I was using the Bible as a reference. Maybe it’s the librarian in me. Maybe it’s the laziness in me. Maybe I was afraid I would hate how upside-down and inside-out it would make my life. Or that I would love it and want more. I’m not sure why (a therapist could explain it after I wore out her couch and my welcome), but I know that I will never go back to that brand of Casino Christianity, randomly picking a machine and hoping to hit a jackpot. I was trying to make the scripture fit my needs. And, boy howdy, was I spiritually bankrupt. The worst part? I LOVE to read. I am a book hoarder. Ish. I would never pick up any other book, read bits and pieces of it and expect, based on those few passages, to know the plot, characters, conflicts and resolutions. That’s just silly. Context is essential to understanding the story. And the Bible is a story. It’s THE story. Of course I need to read it from beginning to end. Of course.
So back to last night. The hubby and I are sitting in our chairs (his is nice but mine is the chair of chairs. Seriously, people fight over sitting in it because it’s THAT amazing), Gizmo at my feet and Squeaks in his lap, and we quiet the Sonos and our minds.
My bookmark reminds me that already, here in this fist month of the year, we are behind in our reading. Honestly, I don’t think God minds. I don’t see Him carrying a clipboard, checking my nightly reading off a To-Do list or tsking when I crawl under the covers after a long day because that’s all I can do, all I can handle in that moment. And I don’t want to make “Spending Time with God” some item on my list. He deserves more than a space and an empty box between Feed the Cats and Take the Dry Cleaning. So I begin reading of Abraham’s dialogue with God.
“Fifty righteous people?” he asks.
“No problem,” God says.
Back and forth. Abraham bargains with God. God says, “No problem.” For Him, it’s not. Nothing is. Except for maybe the sadness He felt at the need for the bargain in the first place. I am amazed at Abraham’s bravery for asking God to save the sin-filled Sodom and Gomorrah, and stunned by God’s willingness to rescue the whole for the sake of a few. And that’s what it amounted to, really. A few. Ten to be exact. That was their agreement. I wonder if Abraham thought “No problem,” too. If he truly believed ten righteous people existed in S&G.
As the smoke of destruction billowed through the sky, I imagine Abraham said, “I’m sorry, God. I really thought there’d be more.”
My hubby, who sees through an artistic lens, is constantly reminding me that God gave us a blank canvas against the landscape of His masterpiece. He’s right. Life is a beautiful, tragic, majestic, impressionistic, cubist, paint-by-number gift. It’s a story filled with comedy and tragedy, heroes and villains, conflicts and one resolution. The only resolution that matters. “Would we be counted among the righteous?” I ask my husband.
“I hope so,” he says.
We need to know so.
Several hours later, as we were drifting off to sleep, my hubby turns to me, grabs my hand, and says, “I’m really glad you’re not a pillar of salt.”
So am I, hon. So am I.