Interpretation Ramblings


I stand before a sacred hall
peering deep within,  I am
drawn into its dark passages
a moving light shines,
I walk towards the light
I grasp the light and a piece falls into my hands
warm, soft, comfortable

The light moves on
faint at first then stronger, beckoning me on
again I grasp the light
sharp is the new piece,  but it fits with the old
The light moves on

I move through the wondrous halls
the light leads me into new depths.
the light in my hand grows
the light before me never goes out

© Ruth Jewell, April 24, 2010


Recently it has been course work driving my thoughts and the courses this quarter are definitely thought-provoking.  Hermeneutics is one course that has caused me much heart burn but also given me a new way to explore how I view a text.  The little poem above says much as to how I am beginning to understand the interpretation of sacred writings or any work for that matter.  The little insights I receive each time I read a text, view a visual art, or hear words or music in an audible work of art are like pieces of a puzzle, they fit together in a unique way that is called ‘my understanding’ of the work.  Every time I return to those works I receive new pieces and move to a new depth within the work.  It is exciting to realize, like an archeologist, I am removing one layer at a time of a great work, but, unlike some archeological sites I will never run out of layers in most, if not all, great works.  What is even more exciting is I am beginning to apply these methods to more than the works of us lowly Beings; I am also beginning to look at the Works of God, discovering layers of meaning in the greatest work of all time, creation.  What I find are not hard facts or quantifiable data but mystery, and the layers are questions that lead to questions, questions that can’t be answered by any means known to me today.  I think the unanswerable questions are why creation fills me to such depth!  The interpretation of the layers of creation allows me to have hoped that there are no answers that can’t be answered and that they’re too many questions to be answered except by the faith I have in the God, Spirit, and Son.  Some things are just too precious to be interpreted in this life; some questions must wait until God decides we are ready to hear the answer.

Paper Ramblings

Questions of Faith

questions of faith
do I believe? no not today
off somewhere fun
guilt somehow intrudes

questions of faith
is today the day? no not today
work must be done
worry about what will happen

questions of faith
maybe today? maybe not
open a book
get out of my mind

questions of faith
screaming OK
now is the time
give up, let go,

questions of faith
are you still there?
here I AM

(C) Ruth Jewell, May 1, 2010


I am writing a paper on the conversion of Saint Augustine and I’m stuck, or at least think I am.  What intrigues me most about Augustine conversion is how long it took for him to admit he had faith.  I guess I have to admit that I have a lot in common with Augustine for I too struggled with acceptance of God’s call.  No, I didn’t have a child out-of-wedlock or lust after men, and I never stole pears from my neighbors pear tree, but, I have my own dark secrets (which aren’t being told here! Augustine may offer a public confession if he wants too but I won’t).  Like good old Gus my dark secrets are hardly anything to write home about, but they sometimes seem dark to me; which means I’m probably just as much of a goofy geek as he was. So why did it take so long for me to say yes to God?  Now that is my quandary and maybe why I find the dialogue with God in the confessions so intriguing for I’ve held some of the same conversations (and my guess is that most people have as well).   All of the doubt and all of the questions and all of the confusion actually led me to a place where I couldn’t ignore the Divine and maybe that is the purpose of my dark night. 

Just as it was for Gus It took a moment of despair to bring us to a stop, to listen and wait in silence for the voice calling us.  In that moment it would have been easy to be overwhelmed by drowning fear but years of letting doubt intrude, of asking questions helped bring to both Gus and me to a point of acceptance.  Maybe that is what doubt is for, giving the opportunity to turn things over in your mind, to let the Presence dwell for a while then leave and come back.  Each time the Presence returned to me I felt Her and recognized I’d been missing something.  Snap decisions weren’t Gus’ forte nor are they mine, yes we hold a lot in common, Gus and I, maybe there’s hope for us yet.