Well, do you?
Sometimes I’m so focused on growing Ellary up in her own narrating capabilities, that I forget how difficult it actually is, even for an adult.
For the last decade or so, I’ve been apart of Bible Study Fellowship or something like it, depending on where we lived. I’ve often described these communities as anchors in a storm. They keep me coming back to Scripture daily, they force me to get out of my Scriptural comfort zones, and they allow me a space to discuss God’s Word in community.
Unfortunately, this year schedules didn’t align, and I’m not participating. Sob. So I’ve been trying to re-learn how to study the Bible on my own. Enter narration.
Um, guys? It works.
I read through some of the later Ambleside Online years, looking for a Bible reading plan, because I like someone else to give me structure. I landed on Year 11, which is going through several of the prophets, along with some New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs. I am loving it.
Here is my narration for Lamentations 1-2 with responsive prayer.
Zion (Jerusalem) is a princess turned whore, whose beauty, grandeur, influence and riches have been plundered and destroyed, as a result of her promiscuity. She is exposed before the nations as what she really is, naked, with her uncleanness on her skirts (her menstrual blood?). The young men and women of Judah have been taken captive; they have nowhere to turn for safety, like hunted animals with nowhere to hide.
Zion calls out and asks if anyone has ever seen sorrow like hers. She wonders how long she will have to suffer. She hopes that the nations which have plundered her will be plundered in like manner. But does she call upon God? [She does, she approves of this discipline. She sees that Judah’s overthrow was prophesied and that it is a result of her iniquity.]
The walls of Jerusalem are broken down, the princes and maidens of Zion are dying or dead. Most remarkably, God has profaned His own Temple, destroying it, spurning it, and rejecting its priests. This is a physical picture of what has been the case spiritually for so long–the people have profaned the Temple for centuries. Now God will show them the reality of this Temple, empty and in ruins. Judah’s enemies are still surrounding it and laughing in delight, so pleased that finally this nation they have hated for so long is done for.
Jeremiah cries out on behalf of the people–“Help, God, please!” Children are starving, people are lying dead in the streets, and there is cannibalism.
Jeremiah urges the people to mourn and grieve and pour their hearts out to God, to turn back to relationship with Him, even/especially in this time of great devastation and desolation. He is still there, waiting to respond. Don’t be prideful, Judah. Don’t be independent and angry in your suffering. Approve of this discipline and mourn, and you will be comforted.
Abba, I approve of Your discipline, like Moses looking out at the Promised Land, knowing he cannot enter. I want to see reality, even if that means structures I have built up in my life must be torn down, because they’ve become places of idolatry and desecration. I praise You that when great destruction happens as a result of sin, this is never the end of the story. Even in this country right now, it is not the end of the story. You are always good. You are always loving. You always have a plan for restoration and redemption at the ready. I thank You for Your Wrath. I thank You for Your Justice. I thank You for Your Mercy. I thank You for Your Love.
Does anyone else do this? I know Charlotte Mason did, and whole volumes resulted from it.