The elegant Bible study leader stood at the podium and addressed the group of women. Opal thought the leader’s name was Janet or Julie or maybe Jennifer. She could never remember, but she sat eagerly on the hard pew waiting to hear from the excellent teacher, whatever her name.
“Ladies, we must hide His word in our hearts. I want to encourage each of you to memorize this week’s Bible verse.”
Opal turned to her friend. “That’s easy for her to say with her thirty-year-old brain,” she whispered into Mildred’s hearing aide. Mildred smiled and nodded, her usual response when she couldn’t hear.
“This week’s verse is Psalm 91:4,” Janet or Jill began. “He will cover you with His feathers. And under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
Opal sighed as she highlighted the verse in her worn Bible. It wasn’t that she didn’t agree that scripture memory was important. During her many years, she’d memorized numerous verses. But she’d also nursed six kids, buried two husbands and held ten grandchildren. That much living had taken a toll on her memory. She would attempt to learn the verse, but she knew her tired mind would draw a blank next Wednesday when she tried to recite it for her class. Lord, I want to remember your Word. I really do.
Janice or Jennifer continued her pep talk. “It’s amazing how God will use a verse in your life that you’ve just memorized. I can’t wait to hear what you all have to share next week.”
That afternoon Opal stood in front of her vanity mirror and recited the verse repeatedly until she felt confident she knew it. At least for now. She had no doubt in the morning she’d have forgotten everything.
Opal decided to reward her efforts with a trip to the grocery store. Few of her friends were still allowed to drive, so she counted this independence a privilege. She headed to the store and bought herself some herbal tea. The description on the box read, “Helps Memory.”
“Perfect!” Opal said as she took the box from the shelf.
As Opal returned to her car with her small bag in hand, she didn’t notice the tall stranger watching her from behind the light post. She unlocked her car door and then gingerly sat down on her seat, putting the key in the ignition.
Suddenly Opal’s door flew open, and a large force pushed her hard across her bench seat.
“Move over, lady,” her intruder said in a gruff voice.
Terrified, Opal cowered on the opposite side of the car, her bewildered mind trying to comprehend what was happening. As the stranger gunned the engine and took off, Opal’s frail body flung forward, causing her to bump her head on the dash. In shock, Opal held her head as she realized the harsh truth: She’d been car-jacked.
Lord, help me, Opal prayed fervently. She tried to recall the verse she’d just been memorizing, but only small bits came to mind. In desperation she cried out what she did remember.
“I’m covered in feathers, I’m covered in feathers, I’m covered in feathers....” she squealed in rapid succession as she hugged herself, stroked her arms and rocked back and forth. She closed her eyes and imagined the Lord’s wings covering her as a shield.
“Shut up, lady,” the man barked as he wove through traffic at a high speed.
Opal didn’t hear him. She just continued to chant and rock, “I’m covered in feathers, I’m covered in feathers.”
“Are you crazy, lady? What are you talking about?”
“I’m covered in feathers...”
“You’re freakin’ me out, lady.”
“I’m covered in feathers....”
Suddenly the car came to an abrupt stop. The criminal jumped out and ran from Opal, mumbling something about a ‘crazy woman’ as he fled.
Opal opened her eyes when she realized she was safe. She said a prayer of thanksgiving and then reached a shaky hand for her phone to dial 9-1-1.
The next week she proudly shared about her adventure at Bible study. “I truly believe learning that verse, that day, saved my life. What Julie shared last week is true.”
Her leader leaned forward and gently said, “My name is Lisa.”
“Sorry. What Lisa said is true. And I also know God will honor your efforts at learning His Word, even if your memory isn’t as strong as it once was. I remembered exactly enough.”
Psalm 91:4 (NIV)
Based loosely on a story that was shared during a Bible study class I attended.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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