Why should I care what someone wrote in Latin, Greek, French, or German? For that matter—why should I care what someone wrote in English a hundred years ago?
When I lived in Brazil, I would visit a little church in the small town of Tres Pontas. It was a poor little church of 30 people—counting babies and dogs. Tied closely to poverty was the fact that no one could read.
Sebastian the leper was the leading member. Stubs on his hand were all that remained of his fingers. He could see only from one eye set in a face scarred by leprosy. A cane sustained his limp. His bandaged feet hid ulcerated skin and the clubs that once had toes attached. How the man could have a positive attitude can only be explained by his trust in God.
On Sunday, he led the little church in prayer and made an astounding request. “God, watch over and take care of us who can’t read.” I have thought of his prayer a million times. Why is it I have the blessing of being able to read? What are my responsibilities to use wisely this gracious gift?
It has everything to do with hidden treasure.
I read to know God. Obviously, Scripture is replete with hidden treasure. A new nugget appears each time I apply the pick or shovel.
God’s work and interaction with His creation can be found also across times and cultures around His globe. Treasures hidden behind other languages and cultures can help me see blessings and consequences of those who succeeded and failed in attempts to interface with the Creator.
I cannot read Greek, Hebrew, German, or French. I should thank God for the translations of foreign writings of those who followed God at their time in history. Expectantly, I find a nugget here and a diamond there.
God gave me a soul and the ability to read. They are not gifts to take lightly.
Paul the Apostle looked forward to the garden as a time when “I will know fully as I am fully known.” I will no longer need hidden treasure. I can retire my kindle.
Until then I want to grow my soul. Perhaps in so doing, I can be used my God to take others with me.
Stay tuned. – Gary J. Sorrells