Chocolate cake rates pretty high in our household. We use a favorite recipe that includes the ingredient of sour cream. Yum. Normally, the cake gets eaten before it gets frosted. Needless to say, the recipe sometimes doesn’t turn out. I forget an ingredient, or use a wrong ingredient, or don’t measure an ingredient right. Yuck.
When I read the Bible, I remind myself not to forget an ingredient. I strive to avoid the human habit of “selective reading” or “measuring” only what I think is right. Every ingredient, or element of the Bible, needs to be recognized and respected.
My dad raised me and my brothers and sisters as equals. He taught us all how to work on the farm. Dad also was a church going man, hauling the family to worship services every single Sunday, where we heard about a God that created children who had no superior or inferior complexes.
Later, as a woman, who eventually came face-to-face with male domination, I decided to grit my teeth and strive to read all the Bible, even though its text leans heavily on the side of a lousy view of womanhood.
I am rather familiar with the Bible stories reiterating the strength and courage of Ruth, Mary, and Tabitha—women who seemed to always have everything in place and work out quite nicely. But, reading these stories is like watching a feel-good movie. And, we all know the world’s reality is nothing like feel-good movies. So I dig a little deeper in the Bible and find other stories, for example of Abigail, the wife of a puny minded, cranky drunk, Nabal. (I Sam. 25)
The story claims that King David had asked Nabal for food, but Nabal refused the request. King David got peeved and decided to plunder Nabal’s possessions and kill him to boot. So, here is Abigail, stuck between 2 hot-headed self-righteous men. She gathers a hefty portion of food, loads it on donkeys, and goes to meet King David, bowing to the ground, Abigail requests a less turbulent outcome. That grant was requested.
Comparing this story to my own situation can be touchy because I really do have a great husband but one time, years ago, we were in the office of our tax accountant, feeling as though the tax bill was going to plunder us. A deduction occurred to me that might help. I mentioned it. I knew my husband didn’t know what I was talking about and the accountant, well maybe he got twirked that he hadn’t thought of the deduction himself, it was his job after all, but he pooh-poohed me as if I was talking about a new way to change baby diapers. My husband glared at me to be quiet. I bit my tongue. But I absolutely did not submit to egotism. I acted on the spiritual truth that egotism has no equal and self-destructs as patience and wisdom equally are expressed. For the next year, I changed baby diapers with patience and wisdom. Again, we were sitting in the tax accountant’s office and unasked, the accountant not only admitted his mistake by neglecting the deduction I’d mentioned the previous year, but figured out a way we still got reimbursed, because it was legitimate.