In Praise of Curiosity

Petrified wood at Calendary Garden

Petrified wood at Calendary Garden

Moving to Greencroft requires downsizing. Doing so, I found “On Being Human, – sexuality and the image of God ” by Norman Kraus among my books.  He wrote the essay and offered it to a publisher. The publisher told him the essay was too short for a book.  So, Kraus asked four friends to read the essay and write their reflections to be added to make a book.  I was surprised to be one of those asked to write a reflection.  Kraus used my reflection as an introduction.  For more information about Kraus’s book and read reviews click here.

Gardener at Calendar Gar

Gardener at Calendar Gar

The next time I visited My Joy I had the book in hand and read the introduction to her.  She asked me to loan her the book.  A few days later My Joy revealed that she was reading it, and making notes.  I asked her why she was reading it, and she told me she was “curious.”  I chuckled.

I told her she was surely a true daughter of Eve, the first woman, who when enticed by a serpent let her curiosity get the best of her.  She ate forbidden fruit and gave a taste to her husband.  God cursed the woman, her husband and the snake. I told My Joy that I see another possible story behind the story.

God can turn a curse into a blessing.  God taught Adam and Eve how to properly dress themselves for life outside the garden and took them to the exit gate and opened the way to the earth-sized garden that awaited them and their children. In that vast garden, curiosity, challenges and opportunities flourish.  Allow me to test some general observations.

Path though the wild garden behind Waterford Mennonite Church

Path though the wild garden behind Waterford Mennonite Church

To be non-curious is to be self-blinded. To be non-curious is to refuse to examine one’s own culture and the cultures around us. If we are non-curious we will hesitate to carefully examine our own beliefs or the beliefs of others. Without curiosity Bible readers are blinded to its truth.  Scientists need curiosity to test the latest findings of their research.

Curiosity opens eyes wide to the ills and strengths of one’s own culture and the cultures of others, allows the follower of Jesus to put to practice the love that sets us free.

I like Eve, and her daughters and sons.  Again, I recommend “On Being Human, – sexuality and the image of God ” by Norman Kraus.  Find it here  on Amazon with more reviews. It is not an ordinary book on same sex issues.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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1 Response to In Praise of Curiosity

  1. Marilyn Slabach says:

    I trust your housing transition is going well, Martin. What an environment! Old friends and new friends! Enjoy!

    Human sexuality: I was teaching a group of women at Bay Shore, maybe 1985, when Sunday school classes studied the book “Human Sexuality in the Christian Life”. Was there ever follow up on that church-wide? I don’t remember, but then I’m 80 :). To me the reaction in our world today (maybe especially the “Church”) to this real life fact that we are ALL different and always have been often seems abusive. It makes me sad…and sometimes mad. At my church we just let anyone come and we are a wonderful and diverse group. Young-old, poor-rich, formal education or not, casual or more formal dress, etc etc. Resources to enhance spiritual growth is central always to my congregation. My on-going experience is that God is the highest power that guides me through life. More powerful than I can comprehend (which is okay) and it is sometimes difficult for me to “wait”, but I’m learning. Can’t we all just love and respect each other where we are and for who we are and who we are becoming, encourage each other, LEARN from each other, continually paying attention to and acknowledging God at work within each of us all along the way? And the church can provide community and support?

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