Beware of the Bible Gnomes

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Rev. Walter Klockers

I don’t know about you, but I tend to get cabin fever this time of year. Because of the winter weather, my outside activities have been temporarily curtailed: I’ve put away my macro lens camera until the spring. I haven’t been walleye fishing in weeks.

However, yesterday, I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I dressed warmly and went outside for an inspection of my flowerbeds.

I decided to dig up two false spirea bushes. I found them to be too invasive in their current location.

I then pondered on moving a small, young lilac bush that had suffered damage from last year’s winter. Only a small portion of it survived. I explored options on where to transplant it later.

I moved on to another area to plot possible structural changes. I vicariously imagined adding paving stones to a small retaining wall.

I need dirt. I could always use more dirt, it seems.

I love to change up the landscape in the gardens. Can you tell?

On another subject, I have always thought it was just me, but the landscape of scripture will, upon occasion, be changed up on me. Unlike the gardens, I seemingly have no control over this.

It’s the strangest thing. Quite often, when I am reading the Bible, I will come upon a verse or two that seems new, entirely unfamiliar to my eyes.

When it comes into view, I stop to puzzle over it: “Huh, I don’t ever remember seeing that before.”

It’s as if there are “Bible Gnomes,” who mischievously alter texts in the Holy Book during the dead of night – much to their delight, and my torment.

However, since I don’t believe in such things (publicly), perhaps this is Divine Providence? Maybe? You tell me.

I do wonder if I am somehow meant to notice something in there at just the right time? Quite honestly, I do not have a definitive answer. You tell me.

When it comes right down to it, I think this is a good thing. Such surprises remind me to read scripture as if I were encountering those passage for the very first time – a fresh reading. If we do so, it can encourage us to change up the landscape of our lives.

In this way, the Bible can speak to us in quite a beneficial way … whether placed there by Bible Gnomes or not.

Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for more than 25 years.

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