Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Word comprehension, kid style

My Bible read-through has me in the Gospels now. The old, old story is ever new, but in the midst of savoring it, a couple verses in Matthew popped me back to my childhood when I was puzzled by the plight of SCUBA divers in the Bible.

I came to know Christ in a personal way less than a month after my eighth birthday. From that early age I was reading the King James Version, not always with much understanding. Since everything in the world was miraculous and often set me to wondering about things at that time, I guess I just skipped over some of the many things I didn’t understand.

Divers in the Gospel of Matthew
The KJV spelling of “diverse” without the “e” is a case in point. Without that “e” New Testament verses such as Matthew 4:24 and 24:7 created a picture in my mind of intrepid divers exploring the seafloor. I got the impression that the life of SCUBA divers in those days was exceptionally hard, what with all those diseases, torments and earthquakes at their dive sites.

Stella rates an A+ in comprehension
More recently, two-year-old granddaughter Stella’s processing of my verbal instructions set me to laughing. I was popping popcorn for the grandkids the old-fashioned way, on the stove. Why I am no longer using microwave popcorn is another story.

Stella, in her favorite pink tutu bathing suit, came into the kitchen and headed my way. With both my hands engaged with sliding that big pot back and forth and round and round on the burner, I worried that she would be at risk. “Stella, back away!” I admonished. She kept coming. I tried again with more force. “Back away! Back away!”

Stella stopped. She leveled the infamous, no-smile Stella stare at me for a long moment. Then with an impish grin, she broke into a quick little backward shuffle until she was even with the kitchen door. She executed a precise 90-degree turn and backed out of sight. My husband and her siblings were on the sofa in the living room waiting for popcorn to go with their movie. Husband reported that she backed all the way to the sofa, paused, and then did a backward circuit of the room.

Well, I guess I didn’t specify how far to “back away”!

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