Sort of Like a Long-Awaited Letter. Only Better.

Tomorrow my friend Val and I will begin teaching an 8-week women’s Bible study for our church. And, I’ve got to tell you, I get goosebumps when I think about it. Not butterflies, mind you. But goosebumps.

You know that prickly sensation when you’re in awe or really excited about something? That’s how I feel about leading this study.

Sort of like we might feel if we didn’t have instant messaging or tweeting or email or even phone service. And we had to wait for letters to come great distances to hear from the ones we loved. I imagine it like the early immigrants to America might have felt. Maybe a letter has just arrived from our Grandad who still lives in the Old Country. How we all grab for it and want to read it first. Instead we gather around in the living room – brothers, sisters, cousins, all of us together. And one of us reads it out loud. And maybe his Scottish brogue comes through thick in his writing and Mom has to explain this or that because our own memories of “home” have grown dim. We didn’t really mean to forget. Not really. But, truth be told, it’s hard to remember what he looks like anymore or the way his hug feels after a walk in the meadow. And the littlest among us barely knew him at all before we left.

But when Momma reads we remember. We hang on every word. And I get goosebumps as I listen to words penned by his precious hand. A bit of him. Here. With us now.

That’s how I feel about tomorrow night. It’s an imperfect analogy, I know. But, it gets at the heart of it for me.

We did receive a letter from a great distance. Only it’s not from our Grandad… No. Even better. This letter is from the very One who called the stars out by name and told the proud ocean waves where to stop. And knew me while I was still being knit together in my mother’s womb. The One whose mercies are new every morning. He who heaps grace on me. Grace upon grace. He has spoken. Written down all the things He wanted me to know for this life. Fantastic accounts of love spurned and the relentless pursuit of a Suitor. A cheater wooed back. Of a love that wins.

A letter like that shouldn’t be sitting pristine on a shelf. Friends, do you know that men died so that we could get this letter? And read it in our own language? This is a letter that deserves to be poured over. Read again and again. Slowly, savoring every word. Pages worn thin from getting it out over and over again.

I know I need the letter. Oh how I need it. Because, I’ll be honest, sometimes I forget. I forget what He’s like and how His story has become my history. Let’s face it, there are lots of other voices competing with the letter. Trying to keep me from it. Some even mock the letter. “How do you even know it’s from Him? What if it’s a fake? Or been altered by the deliveryman?”

But I know better. Aside from apologetic proof upon proof, there is the reality that His fingerprints are all over His correspondence. His heart beating with the very idea of something so impossible as grace. I need want to hear what He has to say. To be reminded afresh.

And I need to do it in the company of “family.” With my sisters. So that we can revel in the goodness and wrestle with the hard stuff… together.

I know, right? You felt it too. Goosebumps.

If you live in Northeast Ohio and you’re a chica and you would like to join us for the study, there is still time. We’ll be studying one of the most ancient stories of all – the life of Abraham as recorded in the book of Genesis. The cost if $15 for the entire 8-week session, which runs from Sept. 8 thru October 27 (7 to 8:30). Use the contact tab right here on my blog to let me know you’ll be there or to get more information. Unfortunately, online registration at the church website has closed; so this is the best way to sneak-in under the wire! Don’t worry, I know the pastor and he said I could. {wink}

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  1. Ooo, I get it! We started our women’s study in Ephesians last night. There’s something explosive about opening the Word in community. Maybe it’s because the Bible wasn’t written to individuals but to a nation and to the churches. We are meant to be the bride of Christ together. I’ll be praying for you ladies as I pray for us.

  2. Wende Campbell says:

    Hi Shannon- Please include me as a part of this study. I have yet to work out the details for Ethan. Thanks for the reminder about it- I had forgotten. I am looking forward to meeting new people and discovering God in new ways through this study!

  3. Mary Sebring says:

    Isn’t it the greatest thing to explore God’s Word with your spiritual sisters. How exciting, I will be praying for you.

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