Reading A Love Letter

Steve & Shirley

Steve & Shirley

“Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury.  He had come to worship, and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah.”  From Acts 8:26-40

You have to really want to read something to read it in a moving chariot. After all, roads were rough in those days and shock absorbers had not yet been invented. But here is this Ethiopian eunuch returning home from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, reading from the prophet Isaiah while riding in his chariot. Why was he so engrossed?

Well, the passage he was reading declares God’s special love for those who are mistreated and ostracized. This comes as very good news to the eunuch because he knows something about those conditions. As a eunuch, he was not even allowed inside the temple because he was considered unclean. He had been the perpetual outsider, but now he is reading about how God holds him, and others who are rejected, particularly close.

In his classic, How to Read a Book, philosopher Mortimer Adler wrote this: “There is only one situation I can think of in which men and women make an effort to read better than they usually do.  When they are in love and reading a love letter, they read for all they are worth. They read every word three ways; they read between the lines and in the margins. They may even take the punctuation into account. Then, if never before or after, they read.”

That is why the eunuch is so engrossed in what he is reading. It is as if he is reading a love letter addressed to him and to all who have known rejection. No wonder he is reading for all he is worth. I remember being in Vietnam and looking for letters from Shirley. I would read every word over and over again. They are still in the attic somewhere… even the ones I wrote her. Read a letter to you from God. Read every word… it is a love letter to you.

Dear Lord, next time I read the Bible, inspire me to read for all I am worth, as if reading a love letter, because… well, that’s what it is. Amen.

Grace and Peace

Steve

 

 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Reading A Love Letter

  1. Paul & Irene Berry says:

    Put them on your blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s