How To Get to Know a Person

October 27, 2010 | 23 comments

I remember her fingers most — wrinkled and red-blotched and tipped in translucent nails. The nurse lay this newborn on my belly, a hollowed womb.

She had a misshapen head, reddish-purple.

I memorized all of her parts — the goofy and the pretty.

Swollen nose.
Oversized head, on a five-pound body.
Blinking eyes, studying me.
Matted hair, near-black, like her mama’s.
Vernix, trapped in creases.

She was heiress to my DNA.

The nurse said she already had “teeth buds” erupting from gums, so I gently opened her tiny mouth with my forefinger. Thirty years previous, I was born with two tiny teeth on the bottom row.

I wanted to remember it all. For I’d never seen anything more beautiful than my firstborn.

I bent my forehead to hers, and we breathed in each other’s breath. Tears fell in slow, salty rivulets, and I caught them with my tongue.

I memorized her …

***

This is how we get know a person — we lean in close to study all the parts, unveiling them layer by layer until we know a person through and through.

And this is how we get to know The Person.

We lean in.
We Get Down.
We chase hard after the details — the ugly and the pretty.

This is the only way to really know the Firstborn among us.

I want to fall so deeply into Him that I can never find my way out again. I want the Person — who is the Word — to pour salty rivulets through me. I want all of it — not just the pretty parts.

But do I really?

Let me tell you the truth of my two-faced heart: I want more of Him, but so often, I zip up the Person into the leather-bound cover of my Bible.

I keep the Word trapped between the covers. Sure, I read the words. But do I really let these words have their way with me? Do I search them in a way that they become a part of who I am?

Am I too busy?
Or just too scared?

It’s like I have an on-again, off-again affair with memorizing the Word. Why?

I know that when I study the words, I am getting to know The Word — the Logos-man who became flesh.

Christ Jesus, you had tear-ducts and translucent fingernails and baby teeth and DNA and fingerprints all your own. You became Man with shoulders broad enough to carry a cross up a hill.

And I want to follow you. I want to get so close that you can feel my breath between your shoulder blades. I want to study You, the Person.

I don’t want to hide you between leather covers. I want to hide You in my heart.

I want to begin again.

I want to memorize you.

holy experience

This week, Ann Voskamp asks her community to consider memorizing Scripture. She encouraged us to do the same last year, and I dove head-first into Romans 8, using many of the techniques that she shares on her blog.

However, I haven’t keep up the practice of memorization.

This fall, I want to start anew. (And I love that we can always, ALWAYS, start over with Jesus!) Do you have any tips for memorizing? Any verses you’ve been committing to memory? I’d love to hear.

by | October 27, 2010 | 23 comments

23 Comments

  1. Yaya Yarns

    Amen, me too!!!!

    I know that we read the Scriptures, but to we meditate, ponder, examine and seek to apply them. When we do these things, it is then I believe they will so much become a part of our lives that they indeed will then be hidden in our hearts.

    Reply
  2. Jeanne Damoff

    I love this. I, too, need to memorize scripture more consistently. Weekend before last I asked a group of women at a retreat if they seek Jesus like woman in love. I was asking myself the same question. Passing glances belong to strangers, not lovers. Too often I'm content to selfishly enjoy the benefits of belonging, giving little in return. I need to return to my first love.

    Thanks for sharing your heart and inspiring mine.

    Love, Jeanne

    Reply
  3. kris Tee

    PASTOR TIMS WIFE MARIOLE WORKED WITH ME MEMORIZING SCRIPTURE WE USED INDEX CARDS SHE ALWAYS KNEW HOW MUCH WAS ENOUGH YOU SHOULD ASK HER SHE IS A GREAT TEACHER

    Reply
  4. Lisa notes...

    I run hot and cold with memorization. I'm in a good season right now, and I can tell the difference. I KNOW how much I need it and need Him.

    "And this is how we get to know The Person.

    We lean in.
    We Get Down.
    We chase hard after the details — the ugly and the pretty."

    Yes. I was just chatting with a friend about how I avoid the wrathful side of God; it's not as "pretty" to me. But it's part of His perfect character, and I want to "chase hard" too.

    "I want to get so close that you can feel my breath between your shoulder blades."

    Beautiful, Jennifer. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply
  5. Shaunie Friday @ Up the Sunbeam

    I love this Jennifer: "I want to fall so deeply into Him that I can never find my way out again." Me too.

    Reply
  6. Amy Sullivan

    Awww, you are right! We memorize those beautiful moments with our children. We eat in every little detail, but where is my attention to detail when it comes to God?

    Memorizing scripture has always been difficult for me, but oh, how I admire people who are committed to learning it.

    ps Two teeth when you were born? Really? How fun. I've never heard of that.

    Reply
  7. Angel

    Wow! What a beautiful post – a challenge for us all to really get to know the One who knows us so well. Thank you for being brave enough to write these words about memorizing The Word.

    Reply
  8. jasons

    Amen to that, Jennifer. We can't have a true relationship any other way. Thanks for such a beautiful call to action.

    Reply
  9. David Rupert

    I still remember the scriptures I memorized as a child. Why do I think the same excercise would be so difficult as an adult?

    I can memorize jersey numbers, locker combinations and a hundred passwords. I think i should be able to do better than "jesus wept"

    Reply
  10. Tabitha

    "And I want to follow you. I want to get so close that you can feel my breath between your shoulder blades. I want to study You, the Person."

    Jennifer, this blew me back from the screen. Because, it's truly how I feel as well. So beautifully written!!

    Reply
  11. Linda

    I find myself in your words Jennifer – this split personality that yearns and spurns at the same time. The one speaking words of love and praise, the other asking forgiveness for the neglect and distance…yet again.
    I long to be single-minded. To go deeper and stay longer.
    Thank you for encouraging me with your open, honest heart. I need to get back to hiding the word in my heart again too.

    Reply
  12. Beth E.

    Jennifer,
    I feel as if you looked into my heart and wrote my thoughts! I have a growing hunger to know more of Him.

    I have never been good at memorizing scripture…I've tried, but I have a difficult time retaining it. What I do is write verses on index cards and carry them in my purse. I can read them wherever I am, over and over. This process helps me get them into my head AND my heart. 🙂

    Blessings…
    P.S. If you get a chance, stop by my blog this week. I'm having a giveaway!

    Reply
  13. TheSoapSister

    What a beautiful post -what can I say except "Amen, Sister!"
    Thanks for putting how we feel into such eloquent terms. 🙂

    Reply
  14. Beth.. One Blessed Nana

    I just love scripture memory myself. I keep a HUGE stack of index cards on my desk and have them taped to my bathroom mirror as well.

    Keep His Word well hidden in our hearts and the enemy won't be able to snatch it away!

    Reply
  15. Melissa Campbell

    I love your blog, and the title! And I am learning to get down with Jesus. Sometimes I try to lead and step on His feet. And sometimes He just has to carry me. But I am one to whom He has given grace to persevere. Blessings here!

    Reply
  16. A Simple Country Girl

    very beautiful…and very convicting

    blessings

    Reply
  17. Graceful

    You did deep into the heart of our flaws here, Jennifer — wanting to know God…but at a distance sometimes. Yup, there is contradiction there…but that's real life, and you tell the truth as you see it and live it.

    Reply
  18. Graceful

    Ok I meant to say DIG deep. But you know that, right? Oh hasty typist I am!

    Reply
  19. Michelle

    During our Fall Bible study I committed to memorizing scripture.
    I write them on 3 x 5 cards and ponder on that verse, those verses, throughout the day.
    I have been able to commit many of them to memory.

    John 15:5
    Psalm 20:7
    Matthew 22: 37-38
    John 14:21
    John 8:47
    John 5:19

    May God Bless You

    Reply
  20. Lyla Lindquist

    I remember studying those little fingers and the curly red hair and having his little eyes look back at me.

    And I groaned when the nurse brought him in to me. "I'll never sleep in again."

    Always the nurturer, me.

    God wants to disrupt my lazy, self-absorbed schedule too.

    In both cases it's turned out okay.

    (And Michelle had it right; didn't need to correct it. You "did deep.")

    Reply
  21. Doug Spurling

    Oh Sweet Fancy Moses Jennifer, beautiful…My oh my – me too…The kind of intimacy that can't be imitated.

    Reply
  22. Jennifer

    If I remembered as much of Him as I've learned, what a different person I would be. Beautiful as always.

    Reply
  23. Natasa

    what a beautiful post…

    Reply

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