As I entered our post office this afternoon I passed a lady in the lobby whispering in her cell phone, “I killed her. I dropped a board on her head and thought she was just unconscious, but she’s dead!”

“Wow,” I thought! “This is amazing.”

Out of the corner of her eye she saw me look startled. Quickly she finished her call and got in line behind me. I could feel her presence and thought how thankful I was she was not holding a board. She tapped me on the shoulder. As I turned around she said, “It was my son’s lizard. I killed my son’s lizard and I am in big trouble at home.”

“Phew,” I thought. “I guess I do not now have to join the witness protection program. Ahh, but maybe she just made up the lizard part of the story.”

How often do we make snap judgments about others because we hear snippets of conversation? How often do we spread stories full of suppositions because we think we are so clever putting the snippets together? How often does someone not get a job promotion because we have spread a snippet totally out of context? I know people who build Bible doctrines using snippets. They take part of a verse here and another one there and put them together to create some fantasy concept the writers of Scripture never intended. While Scripture is the Word of God written for all of us, it never hurts to get context. The Bible did not happen in a vacuum. It came to us from an ancient culture.

Written by Roger Bothwell on July 2, 2003
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453