“Bible Study” is an inappropriate name for the weekly meetings I attend. That term somehow seems to suggest a serious theological survey of the Bible. “Bible Study” implies that we are comprehending, studying and learning about the meaning and mysteries contained within each and every one of those many pages!
Well, yes, at our weekly meetings we do attempt to do all that, but we do more. Oh, so much more! We laugh, we argue and disagree, we joke and rag each other, we cry, we marvel at the workings of God and Christ.
Basically, we have an unadulterated fun and rich time together!
I have always asked questions, a lot of questions. You can imagine what happens when I am confronted by a book like the Bible. The questions seem to flow out of me ceaselessly. “But….. But…… Buttttttttt….” I have a great faith, don’t get me wrong. It is just that the more I discover, the more questions there seem to be! Why is that? Glory, there I go again with another question! Our Bible Study group has simply accepted that Gaynor and questions are irrevocably entwined!
There are about ten of us in our group. Yes, we can all fit into my lounge but it is a real squash. So we have delightfully accepted Mum’s kind offer of her beautiful lounge for our meetings. Our Bible Study is made up of single women. They have either been widowed, divorced or as in myself and one other case, we have never asked anyone to marry us – yet!
Everyone is completely different in their background and their age. Because of our differences we each bring a divergent perspective to discussions. Things that had played no part whatsoever in my life are suddenly made very immediate and real to me. As a result, everyone’s horizons are broadened and enriched. Gentle laugh – what we do have in common is a complete belief and love of God and Christ!
In life one tends to stay within ones own peer group. One misses out and lacks understanding about many things because one has never had to confront them. One never has to face the problems others have to face. Losing jobs, worrying about money, having a roof over ones head, health issues, being alone……All these problems are suddenly bought home to each and every one of us. We share our problems, our joys, our questions, our failures and our triumphs. Together we are strengthened, appreciating God’s all knowing and ever protective love!
A year ago, I had a ‘disagreement’ with two dogs and the results were debilitating, to say the least! My right hand was put in plaster for six weeks. My left hand had to be operated on twice and was also wrapped in bandages for 8 weeks. I moved in with Mum and was totally dependent on her. She had to bath me, feed me, brush my hair, put on my moisturiser…etc, etc and damned well etc!
“What would I do if Mum were dead?” I asked my BS friends. “I would have to get on a bus and shoot down to my sister in Cape Town. And Liz has three young children who need all her attention, as it is. I’m…I’m just so grateful for the fact that Mum is here.”
I was very close to tears. Betty spoke up. “You most certainly would not go down to Cape Town,” she said, “We would look after you.”
“No, you don’t understand, Betts! Mum does everything for me. I can’t do a thing.”
“Gaynor, what do you think my job is?” gentle Marion asked. “I am a Carer. I do exactly what your Mother is doing for you. I ‘care’ for people.”
“We would do your shopping for you,” said Sharon “and take it in turns popping in to make sure you’re alright. I see that you are using certain fingers. That’s great!” She was right. I was managing to use certain fingers of my left hand that were poking through the bandages.
“It’s just a few more weeks and then you’ll be able to give people the finger once more!” joked Heather saluting me with the rude third finger in the air. “Sorry, Sharon, sorry, oh, Bible Study leader, sorry, sorry, sorry!”
As we laughed I looked at all of the faces folding with mirth before me. And I thank God for them. Recently I found this piece on the Bible written by Henry van Dyke.care,
It summed it up so aptly…..
“Born in the East and clothed in Oriental form and imagery, the Bible walks the ways of all the world with familiar feet, and enters land after land to find its own everywhere. It has learned to speak in hundreds of languages to the heart of man. It comes into the palace to tell the monarch that he is a servant of the Most High, and into the cottage to assure the peasant that he is a son of God. Children listen to its stories with wonder and delight, and wise men ponder them as parables of life. It has a word of peace for the time of peril, a word of comfort for the time of calamity, a word of light for the hour of darkness. Its oracles are repeated in the assembly of the people, and its counsels whispered in the ear of the lonely. The wicked and the proud tremble at its warnings, but to the wounded and the penitent it has a mother’s voice. The wilderness and the solitary place have been made glad by it, and the fire on the hearth has lit the reading of its well-worn pages. It has woven itself into our dearest dreams; so that love, friendship, sympathy and devotion, memory and hope put on the beautiful garments of its treasured speech, breathing of frankincense and myrrh.”