The scripture that he read was instantly familiar. The last verse in the 4th chapter a personal memory verse in my Bible.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away,
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and
momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory
that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes
not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since
what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
5:1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live
in is destroyed, we have a building from God,
an eternal house in heaven,
not built by human hands.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18; 5:1 NIV
I don’t recall him quoting the scripture reference, but as soon as I heard the words, I flipped open my Bible and read along. In my quest for spiritual maturity, I’ve made a commitment to implant God’s word on my heart. For me, it’s a ‘slow and steady wins the raise’ type of process, almost a turtle crawl.
Raised Catholic, I’d never read the Bible until I took a religious studies course in college. It was then that I learned that the Book of Job (pronounced with a long O) was not the book of job synonymous with employment. I attended my first black Baptist church experience as a college pledge for my sorority. I was unfamiliar with the order of service, the location of the books in the Bible, the gospel music and the outward displays of emotion, but I remember that I enjoyed the experience. In my family, we were raised to believe in God and attended mass on high holy days and sometimes on regular Sundays, but we never read the Bible, and like other parishioners, we didn’t tote a Bible to mass. If we had a Bible, I didn’t know where it was. When I joined a Bible based Baptist church as a young twenty something, I felt that I was learning a new language. Decades later, my spiritual maturity quest is richer, but still very much a work in progress which is why I get excited when I can easily locate a learned scripture without assistance from the Concordance or the biblical version of “Shazam.”
Unlike my mother who now has a “Rain Man” like memorization and recall of biblical scripture, my recall of scripture is slower and more deliberate as though I’m translating in a new language. In those instances where I’m not near my highlighted Bible, I have a Bible app on my phone where you can type in a few words from a verse and the “smart” phone will take you to the scripture in various translations. In functionality, it’s similar to the “Shazam” app that listens to a song and tells you the artist’s name. On the Bible app, you just type in a few key words or phrases and it directs you to scripture that has those words or phrases referenced. When it comes to biblical look ups, one of my personal goals is to be as smart as (or smarter than) my smart phone, so I was pleased that I didn’t have to biblically Shazam the scripture that the President was reading when he spoke words of encouragement at the interfaith service in Newtown, Connecticut. When he finished, I felt that the President’s speech writers had chosen the perfect scriptural verse to bring comfort to the people of Newtown, Connecticut even though I’d heard a vastly different message on that same scripture from our pastor several months prior.