And that’s just me. We have (at my most conservative estimate) ten other Bibles in our house. Probably closer to fifteen, or perhaps even twenty.
I thought I didn’t take this blessing for granted. I thought I was grateful for having so many Bibles so readily available– in my language.
And then I started talking to Michiko. Her sister Yuko is a good friend of ours, and Michiko was visiting her from Japan. We’d met Michiko before, on a previous visit. She became interested somewhat in Christianity: she saw the difference it had made in her sister’s life, and she wondered what had happened. Yuko did her best to explain things to her, and purchased a Japanese/English Bible for Michiko to read.
Michiko didn’t know anything about the Bible. Nothing at all! Imagine that. Seriously, I mean it. Think about what that would be like!!
But she was intensely interested in learning more: more about the Bible, more about Christ… and, in broken English, she attempted to ask us questions–and, in simple English, we attempted to explain things.
Now, I learned a wee bit of Japanese, but none of it really comes in handy for this sort of thing… “Good morning” “Please pass the salt” “Where is the computer?” um… I mean… uh… 😛 Thankfully, Michiko knows a great deal more English than I know of Japanese, so we were able to understand each other fairly well. (Though we did keep the dictionaries handy. :D)
Wow, what an experience. I can’t even explain the blessing it was… I’m sure it’s always exciting when someone is interested in learning more about Christ–but someone from a whole ‘nother country! And someone who is the sister of someone you had prayed for years to become a Christian!!
It made me really value something I had only occasionally thought about: the fact that I’ve grown up learning about the Bible. I have a great deal of the history in my mind: when I read about Elijah in John, I know who that is–and I can find the place where it talks about him in the Old Testament. Seems obvious, I know: but that was one of the questions Michiko asked me after reading in John a little. When I want a verse about a particular topic, one comes to mind. (Even if I do have to do a little hunting to find it… :P)
I felt so… inadequate. There is SO much to tell! And I only had a small amount of words to use! Somehow, though (Which translates to: with the help of the Holy Spirit), I/we were able to explain many of the major things to her… like the fact that Jesus is a mediator between us and God. I used the example of a translator, since that was a word and concept she knew very well (haha). It is so cool when God uses you in cases like that… and when motions and/or easily understood examples come to mind just as you need them. 🙂
So… all of that has left me with a greater appreciation for the Bible… and for all of the years of hearing it and reading it.