It’s early. I do my Bible reading first in my day, which means I’m often still shaking off last night’s dreams. My coffee’s on my left; our two sleepy dogs are on my right, and words are swimming in front of my eyes.
I’m in Genesis 10, the list of Noah’s descendants. Noah had three sons, and his three sons had sons. I search the names, looking for a foothold, someone whose name calls to mind meaning in a chapter that otherwise seems perhaps less important but certainly less exciting than the previous chapter’s account of the covenant and rainbow.
My eyes slide down the names of the sons of Japheth, Ham, and Shem. Some are familiar; many are not.
“These are the sons of Shem, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations” (Genesis 10:31).
Clans. Languages. Lands. Nations. Is this how the world knows us? Is this how we know ourselves? By our family, by our words, by our homes, by our nations?
My family is complicated. By birth, adoption, and marriage, my family extends farther now than it ever has, into the past and into the future. I stop and pray for them all.
My words? I love words. I use words all the time. In a recent assessment, I scored high in the need to express myself, but then I’m reminded that this blog hasn’t been updated since July. Maybe it’s less a fire in my belly and more a dead ember. But I’m reminded, and I’m motivated, so here! I’m sitting down to write.
My land isn’t much. It’s my one lot on a short street in a small town. I don’t know that I want to leave it ever, but I have to go where God calls me. For now, though, I’m safe here. The doors swing wide for friends, and the walls tell stories of my children. I’ve got work to do later to take care of it.
And my nation, well, my nation is a crazy mix of blessing and challenge, as I’m sure all nations are. I’m glad to live here. I marvel at the principles upon which it was founded. They’re good bones. I’m thankful.
The dogs are still sleeping, but my coffee is running low. I’ve been led to pray, to make a plan, to care, and give thanks, all by one verse tagging the end of a long list of names.
Scripture never disappoints.