Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Write Them on Your Gates

So keep my words in your hearts and minds. Write them down and tie them on your hands as a reminder. Also tie them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home. Talk about them when you walk along the road. Speak about them when you get up. Write them on the door frames of your houses. Also write them on your gates. ~Deuteronomy 11:18-20 (NIrV)

"Are we gonna do that?" She's looking at our gray fence. I'd paused long enough for another question to edge in between paragraphs of scripture. She's matter of fact: There are the words, there's the fence, grab a pen! Am I really thinking, Oh well, He doesn't mean that? And, what does he mean? We are Christians, not bound to the legalism of the Old Testament, but I am drawn to her boldness. A conundrum.

"Honey, it's sort of just a way to train ourselves to know God. Sort of how I sometimes give you treats when you do something hard, but just to help you learn." She takes this in. "Do you think we should do it?"

She smiles, hand already poised to present. "Well, maybe we could write it on the gate with a marker or with paint so it won't come off when it rains." All of the sudden I understand why my dad said yes to displaying a six-foot kid-made cross in our front yard when I was ten (to commemorate Mr. Big Toad, of course). My weak dribbles of faith sustain me bland as toast. And I pray to be so bold.


  1. How gloriously literal the Word is in the hearts of kids! Come on over and let's do some finger painting in honor of this verse. Sure love those kids of yours!

  2. Sounds like I know what my next backyard project will be. I've always thought that my fence could use some sprucing up!

    It is a bit of a shame that we lose some of our boldness as we grow! Oh to have the freedom of not worrying about what everyone else thinks.

  3. Great idea! What scripture will you choose? Please post a picture, you could be starting something...

  4. I think gates & doors for me are a lot like blogs(and in so doing speaking freely about faith)u--but for Emma, maybe they are just gates and doors. Do it. THe older I get the more literal I take the Bible. Doesn't mean there aren't other ways to do it, just that what is actually says, might just be perfect.

  5. Hey, Jewish people take it literally. They have that box with the Word in it at their doorstep that they touch each time before they enter and leave. I even think there are some that still tie things to their forehead or wrist with the Word in it. And what is that verse that says God has our prayers tied to his forehead? Something like that.

  6. Bethany that box Jews put on their doorposts is called a Mezzuzzah. You should make one!! Your blog is a creative devotional for families in the making. Keep writing. You encourage many!