Booksigning pics and other thoughts...
Yesterday was my first booksigning for Abigail at Woodside Bible Church in Troy, Michigan. We had a good turnout. Met a woman who came because of the announcement she saw on this blog, which was way cool, because it's always nice to know when someone reads these things! And it was nice to meet her as well. :) Met another woman who came from a different church nearby because she saw it advertised in The Woodside News - the church's newspaper. It was an honor to meet everyone who came, both old friends and newly made acquaintances. The signing took place between services, which is why this first picture doesn't show anyone near the tables. Randy took them while church was in session, but then a friend took one of us together while I was signing a book, which was nice of him. (I would not have thought of it as I was too distracted.) :) During the last service, I slipped into the sanctuary and got to hear most of the sermon, but talked with some passersby in between the others.
One man stopped to chat and made some interesting comments I've been chewing on a bit since. He said he didn't think people could understand the Bible. In other words, he seemed to think the average person could not pick up a Bible and just read and understand its meaning, that the reader would need someone else to explain it to him. I found this a bit disconcerting coming from someone standing in the church foyer. Perhaps on a street corner or a restaurant or out in the rest of the world. But somehow you expect people in church to read the Bible, or to at least aspire to read it.
Not so with this man. And another woman nearby agreed with him. She was not like him in that she did make a point to read her Bible, but she admitted it was hard for her to understand. I had a good talk with her afterward, and came to realize we all sees things differently. I could relate to her because I remember days past when I read my Bible because it was something I was supposed to do. Checked it off my "to-do" list and kept on with the day. I'm not sure at what point I realized I wanted more, that God was someone I wanted to know, and that reading God's Word became food I craved rather than like eating vegetables because they were good for me.
David said in Psalm 63:1 - "O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water."
And Psalm 42:1-2 says - "As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God."
I think oftentimes people do not think they can understand the Bible simply because they have not picked it up and tried. It also helps to ask the Author for guidance along the way. And if we have fallen into the trap of reading just to mark the chore off a check list to satisfy our spiritual guilt, then it is time to ask the Author to change our desires - to give us that hunger and thirst a deer has who longs for water, to thirst in the same way for God my Savior. He waits for us to ask Him for such things.
The past week has been an exhausting one, both physically and emotionally. The introvert in me needs her down time after lots of social interaction. But more importantly, I know when I'm struggling with this or that in my life, my heart longs mostly for Sabbath rest, time to spend with Jesus, studying, reading, and pondering His Word. It makes all the difference in my outlook, and gives me hope for each new day.