Pastor Amy Kosari
The child was made to feel special. He was told again and again how much the abuser loved him. But now, as an adult, he knows the truth: that love was a lie. His abuser was incapable of loving him, or of really even seeing him, or any child. His abuser was blind, imprisoned in adamantine bonds. All of this raises the question: How do we test spirits? How do we find out what love really is?
What does it mean in I Corinthians 14, when Paul tells women to be "silent in congregation," especially in light of his words just a few chapters earlier, in I Corinthians 11, where he not only "allows" women to pray and preach and teach but tells them how to do so?
The man chuckled and said, "But isn't studying the Bible your job?" We were in the check-out line and after a bit of small talk I had launched into an overly enthusiastic theological mini-lecture concluding with some cheerleading: "Keep on reading your Bible!" But he was having none of it, genially explaining that the congregations were paying me to read the Bible so they wouldn't have to, and with that, the swipe of his debit card, and the receipt safely deposited in his wallet, he took his groceries and bid me a friendly farewell.
Two days ago I was listening to an old record with my mother; it was Tennessee Ernie Ford singing hymns. I had never heard of him before but my mother explained that he was famous and had had his own show back in the 1950's.
"Snap out of it!" said my mother from across the room, a verbal slap in the face, and it was just what I needed. My parents were and are the most supportive of parents. Not a day passed when they didn't tell me that they loved me. Not only that, they believed in me. My sister and I were not yelled at or spanked, rather by telling us the stories of the Bible they taught us about the Lord and his goodness. They're my heroes.
There are some moments that glimmer like gold. I remember a discussion with my tutors in college and the air around us seemed to shine as we talked. Where do these moments come from? In the Bible we learn of the the "mercy seat." The mercy seat was the cover of the ark of the covenant. It was gilded in gold an inch thick and on that cover, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would sprinkle a bit of the blood of the sacrifice and that year, the sins of the people would be "covered;" the sins of the people would lose their power and have no hold anymore.
The kind and well-meaning nurse sighed and folded his arms. He looked my mother in the eye and said, "You know it's probably a good idea not to look on the internet."