I have just spent a considerable amount of time reading the blogs of other people, and wondering about the people and about what they write.  I have also spend a great deal of time reading a variety of books in the last several months and contemplating the information in them and the authors who wrote them.

I wonder – what does reading tell us?  Do the people who write believe what they are writing?  Is the author trying to get across an internal belief by writing a story which he or she clearly indicates is fiction?  Obviously people who write self-help books, or books of religious instruction or teachings would readily admit that they believe what they are writing to be true, but how much of the author’s true beliefs comes out in the fictional stories.

When I read a book, fictional or non-fictional, there is always something in it that I would love to discuss with others but others are seldom around to discuss the thoughts with me.  Perhaps I will start blogging on the subjects that I would like to discuss.

Today I was reading a book by Eugene H. Peterson called Answering God on the Psalms as Tools for Prayer.  Here is a section that really made me think.

“Two things are prominent in Psalm 1: an action and an image.  Torah-meditation is the action; a transplanted tree is the image.

Torah (law) is God’s words that hit the target of the human condition.  The noun torah comes from a verb, yarah, that means to throw something, a javelin, say, so that it hits its mark.  The word that hits its mark is torah.  In living speech, words are javelins hurled from one mind into another.  The javelin word goes out of one person and pierces another.  Not all words are javelins; some are only tin cans, carrying information from one place to another.  But God’s word has this aimed, intentional, personal nature.  When we are spoken to this way, piercingly and penetratingly, we are not the same.  These words get inside us and work their meaning in us.

As we prepare to pray, to answer the words God addresses to us, we learn that all of God’s words have this characteristic: they are torah and we are the target.  God’s word is not a reference book in a library that we pull off the shelf when we want information.  There is nothing inert or bookish in these words. God’s words, creating and saving words every one, hit us where we live.

The moment we know this, that God speaks to us, delight is spontaneous.  ‘The Psalms are the liturgy for those whose concern and delight is the torah of the Lord’. These are not words that we laboriously but impersonally study, as if for an exam.”

The writer goes on to describe how we need to meditate on the words, relating it to the sounds that a lion might make over its prey, describing the word meditate as a bodily action, involving murmurings and  mumbling words, taking a kind of physical pleasure in making the sounds of the words, shaping them on our lips, tasting them.  Meditation is mastication.

Have you ever read the Bible like that?  Have you ever read a poem or any writing like that and just “felt it in your bones, your soul, your heart, your spirit?

Thinking about words in this way makes me appreciate so much the wonderful opportunity that I have to read, read and read.  I have always loved to read ever since I was a little girl, seeing books as adventures, and I hope that I will never lose that love.

Advertisements