Sunday, October 14, 2012
A note on the John poems...
I have a new Bible. I've used an eBible for so long, it's been years since I've been excited about a paper copy of the text. However, I'm suddenly back to pencil and highlighter, and I'm loving every minute of it.
This version is called _The Literary Study Bible_ in ESV, and God is using it to help me fall in love with Scripture in a new way. It's not that any one thing is perfect about the printing. The text is actually a little too small, the pages are too thin, and the notes are minimal. Yet something about the heart of this Bible gives me permission to apply the tools of my literary training to words that I have often perceived as accurate but distant.
The poems that I have been posting are a result of my first few weeks in the book of John. They are not intended to paraphrase the text. I want to be very clear about that. The Bible is perfect as it was given to us, and nothing can be written to add to it. These are simply thoughts that have come to me as I have stepped into each story and opened myself to the Lord.
As I read each chapter, I am taking time to think about individual characters, inverses, and themes. I am, for the first time, looking at the Bible as literature. By "literature" I do not mean that it is untruthful. God's Word is without error. It's just that in so many years of searching for technicalities, I have missed the creativity of my Creator.
I'm a little nervous about putting these posts out there, because I do not like the thought of projecting extra elements into the text. I feel the urge to write, "THESE ARE JUST SCRIBBLINGS!" as a preface to each post. However, I've also felt very close to God while exploring some of these stories, and I don't want to hold back an honest expression of that exchange.
So, what I hope to do is offer what has come with my limitations clearly stated. The John poems are no more and no less than God's Word falling upon the heart of a poet who sins, doubts, and misunderstands. They are not revelation. They are not without error (exegetically or artistically). They are only one woman's journal as she walks through John.
I hope that you will read them in this light. And I hope that God will meet with you among them as He has met with me.