Thursday, October 23, 2014
Truth in Translation
I was in an antique store the other day, just browsing, killing some time and not really finding anything that jumped out at me. As I walked around the quaint little store that was once a house I found myself in a former bedroom where all kinds of things you might find in a bedroom were - just the antique kind. Hairbrushes, water pitchers and dry sinks, mirrors, etc. There was a closet that did not have a door on it and it had several shelves that were packed with mostly linens and "fancy things" (a term I learned at my Grandparent's auction to describe needlepoint, cross stitch and anything hand made).
I rummaged through the shelves and the piles of blankets and quilts and pillow cases and in the back corner of a shelf about three down from the top were some books. I'm always on the lookout for old hymnals so I thought that was what I might have found.
I had to move several items off the shelf and place them on the bed to get to the books, but when I did, I was pleasantly surprised. I hadn't found hymnals, but I had found Bibles. I believe to be written one in Swedish and one in Norwegian, at least that's what Google translate tells me. One was published in 1905 and the other in 1951. Not horribly old, but perhaps belonged to someone my grandmother's age and her mother's age.
It's intriguing to think about who they belonged to.
They are both fairly well read and both previous owner's liked to underline as there are many many red lines under some of the same verses that are underlined in my English bible.
The Word of God is what binds us. The Word of God is what divides us.
Only the reader of the Word of God knows how the Word speaks to their heart. I'd like to think that this man or woman holding these Bibles underlined them because they spoke so loudly to them in the darkness, like the Word speaks to me many times, that they wanted to come back to that spot over and over and over again. One will really never know, and it's really none of my business why a passage is underlined.
But it is intriguing to me that a person, who perhaps only spoke Swedish or Norwegian, was moved, for whatever reasons, by the same words that speak to me in English.
God's Word speaks to every language, every tongue, for all time.
Won't it be a beautiful thing in heaven when the language barriers are gone, the doctrinal divides are erased and we worship and praise with one voice, one tongue calling out to One Name. The name that saves.