Yesterday morning, I got a call from Everett. I knew it was coming. When I was writing the comments about the word "faith" only being mentioned twice in the Old Testament and 244 times in the New, I was laughing, thinking about how Everett would pounce on it. Everett gets very excited every time that I mail off my latest writings to him, and he picks them up in the lobby of the Senior Citizen's Residence where he lives.
As soon as he's retired to his apartment and read them a couple of times, he's off to the lobby to share them with other residents. It's an event. The word spreads, and people show up at all hours of day and night, asking to read them.
Everett's greatest joy is giving the two preachers who visit a hard time, and he loves to ask them questions, or repeat comments from what I've written. He had a field day with my comparisons of the number of imes that the word "limit: (twice) appears in the bible, in comparison to the word "love." He was armed and ready with my writing about Everyday Miracles, and was waiting to pounce on the preachers. He calls the young minister a "Jack Leg Preacher." I'm not sure what that means, but I suspect it's a reflection of the young man's relative inexperience.
After reading my chapter on miracles, the preacher discussed them in bible study that day, and got one of the Church Mother's all riled up. As she said, "I've been reading the bible every day since the day that I came out of my mother's womb, and I know every word." She wanted to question Everett about my statement about the word "faith" only appearing twice in the Old Testament, and at 10:30 that night, she was pounding on his door. She ended up talking with him until close to midnight. When she asked him, "Where are the two passages in the Old Testament that speak of faith?" and Everett couldn't tell her, she said, "How can you go around saying that, when you don't know where it's mentioned in the bible!" And Everette was in hot water. That's why he called me.
When Ruth answered the phone, Everett said, "Sis, I'm in trouble! I want to speak to my Bro." The church mother was coming back at two that afternoon, and she expected him to tell her where the passages were.
When I got on the phone with Everett and he explained his predicament I said, "Hey, Everett... that's why I bought you that concordance. Just look up the word "faith" and you can find the two passages in the Old Testament. Just be sure that you read them before you head down to the lobby. Everett was praising me to high heaven, and said, "I'll be ready for them! I'll go down to the lobby armed with my concordance and my bible!" "You give it to them Everett," I said. And Ruth, Everett and I all had a good laugh.
When Everett tells me how much my writing means to him, and what an inspiration it is, it makes me think that maybe I'm doing something right for a change. I told him "I'm not writing out of wisdom, because wisdom is in short supply over here. I'm not preaching, either. My only hope is that what I write will send people back to the bible and get them to thinking about what Christ taught." I love the lines in one of the hymns I sing, He Knows How Much We Can Bear:
"If we are willing, he will teach us
His voice only, to obey no matter where
For he knows, yes he knows
Just how much we can bear"
"If we are willing, he will teach us." And in seeking to understand God's word, we teach each other.