I write this on a Tuesday. It is not the typical Tuesday of the past seven months or so. Rather, today I colored my hair, worked on a couple of blog posts, replied to an email or two, had a PB&J for lunch out on the porch and just generally “piddled.” Unlike the past several weeks, 27 all total I think, with a break for Christmas in there somewhere, this Tuesday I did not stand before a group of women, my carefully typed lesson on the podium before me, my friends and fellow students looking at me with eager anticipation, my heart in my throat, my mind silently begging for much grace.
I miss it today. I’ve been distracted all day because the day feels rather odd and out of sorts with no rush of nerves, no anxious preparation, no wrestling with the truth of Scripture with women I admire and respect, no post-lesson fellowship over lunch with my self-described “lunch bunch.”
I know what you’re thinking, at least if you’re a longtime reader of the blog: here we go again, yet another post-study sappy tribute to my Bible study group. I know, I know, this is indeed what it is, you are correct, but the truth is I can’t help it. I wax nostalgic at the end of each study–and for good reason–and besides that, it’s my blog so, yes, indeed, here we do go again.
Teaching a community Bible study has long been a dream and a passion of mine. Despite my prevailing insecurity and my weird introversion, I can’t not teach and that truth alone is enough to prompt me to wonder and worship before the God who uses even the least of these like me. To be given this kind of opportunity is a dream come true–really!–and I am profoundly grateful both to my friends who asked and to the Lord whose gracious provision is abundantly clear.
This year of study has been as challenging as anything I’ve taught or facilitated, both in content and format. Lecturing each week in combination with the depth of the material at hand proved to be rather intense. In a good way. I’ve worried a little that I was, however subconsciously or unwillingly, facilitating a consumer culture in terms of encouraging a spectator pursuit over a personal pursuit of the knowledge of God through His Word. My goal as teacher and as student was that we see the Lord Jesus and in that seeing we would know Him and in that knowing we would love Him. More. And more. And more.
And we did. See Him. Know Him. Love Him. He was gracious and merciful to us and I believe, I know, that at the very least the teacher will never be the same again.
I’ve told my group many times that they are testimonies to me of the Lord’s grace. It is amazing to me that He would grant me the privilege and passion of teaching. It is even more amazing to me that someone else would come alongside for the journey. And a roomful of someone else’s? I can scarcely stand it. The Lord is good. He is gracious.
So I miss my friends this morning. My day feels strangely empty. A summer break is good and needful but part of me is already looking ahead to September and to the ways yet unimagined that the Lord will bless us and change us as we devote ourselves once again to seeking Him together in the diligent study of His Word.