It was such a shocking ending to a radio host’s program. He went off air stating a word no self-respecting person would use, proclaiming his contempt for what is written at the beginning of Scripture.
The elderly couple, sitting on the veranda with a cup of tea and listening to the early morning program, were shocked.
The husband switched off the radio. “Setting up a world,” he remarked thoughtfully, sipping his tea, “is on the large scale of setting up a country. If somebody takes over a country, he immediately sets about establishing the laws he wants and the interaction of the people there.”
“Yes,” replied the wife. “He wants it to work according to his plans for it. And,” she added, “I think setting up a country is the large scale of setting up a home. Certain rules apply in a home and anybody who visits is expected to behave that way.”
The husband was thoughtful again and after a moment he said slowly, “If you think of the world today, you can clearly see different cultures claiming their rights to exist within their own boundaries. At the very beginning, their culture is established based on the laws that people are expected to obey.”
“It is a bit like our garden here,” said the wife. “We have made it a friendly place with no creatures in it that would hurt the birds who come to visit. Remember the stray dog who used to chase our birds? We did not like him to visit. In fact, I remember that you went to the people who owned him and asked them to keep him at home.”
“Mm,” agreed the husband. “We did not write our laws out but every creature around us understands that this is a peaceful place with no cruelty.”
“And no shortage of bird-seed!” exclaimed his wife. “It is time to fill the feeders,” she smiled, getting up from the table and indicating that she would wash up the cups while he filled the seed dishes.
The husband put a variety of seed in each feeding dish so that every different species of bird who came found the food that was good for it. Even insect eating birds and those that supposedly ate nothing but living insects or meat, would forage in the seed dishes for seed to eat.
A flock of colourful Rosellas arrived and then the King parrots arrived one after another, and they all took breakfast from the seed dishes. They jostled each other for best positions and scattered seed castings, but that was their natural habit. They knew they were safe, they knew they were welcome, they knew it was a home they could come to at any hour of the day.
The husband and wife carried out their duties and came back to sit and interact with the parrots. They talked to the parrots and the parrots answered back in their own way.
“What does this place teach us?” reflected the wife quietly. “I wish we could really talk to the birds and they could talk to us.”
“I think it teaches us about the beginnings of our world,” answered her husband. “And I think probably Adam and Eve could communicate sensibly with the creatures around them.”
“But it was shattered,” replied his wife.
“Yes, by an intruder who wanted to destroy the law and culture that was in place. He wanted to take over,” said her husband.
“I wonder if that will happen in this place?” reflected the wife. “I wonder if there will ever be a disaster in our garden.”
“If anything goes wrong,” comforted her husband, “there will be a good reason for it and it will teach us something, I’m sure.”
They were silent. And words were spinning in the wife’s mind. After a while, she spoke them out loud to her husband. “When something goes wrong,” she said as if it were a foregone conclusion, “I believe the Lord wants us to ‘write the vision, and make it plain upon tables,'” and she concluded with emphasis, “as the Scripture says, ‘that he may run that readeth it.‘”
“Who said that?” asked her husband.
“The Lord,” replied his wife. “He said it to Habakkuck, second chapter, second verse.”
They were both silent, and a King parrot landed on their table, looking at them reflectively.
“When something goes wrong,” he seemed to be saying, “please share what you learn from it.”
And the wife replied silently, “I will write it down so that all may share it.”
And the King parrot left, perhaps to share with his companions that the Lord had said it was so that ‘he may run that readeth it.’
The Lord pleads with us also to read so that we understand our times. Will you take up the challenge to understand His Word?
(To access the entire “Culture Close Up” mini-series, please click here.)