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10
The Interior and the Exterior by Summer Intern Morgan Haefner
July 10, 2014

Today I was glancing down at my ring, a gift from my grandfather when I started college. He acted funny prior to the purchase, and kept telling me “I want to take you to the Pink Coyote,” a jewelry store in Eagle River, WI. I immediately set my eyes on a bright, blue topaz stone with black speckles. The store owner fit the ring to my finger perfectly. I smiled at my grandfather, and he shrugged it off. He is not a man of many words.

Every time I look at the ring, this memory is jogged. This is a personal experience. A person glancing at my ring would never know the memories or the unspoken “I love you” plated into the sterling silver.

I find this scenario much the same as when I meet someone for the first time. Here is a fellow human, filled with “I love yous,” memories and inner significances. Yet all I see upon first glance is the blue topaz exterior. With human interaction, there is no bridge across the get-to-know you conversations, or the months it takes to form trust with another person.

Or so I thought. For me, this view altered as of yesterday.

My fellow intern Sally and I led Pastor Mary’s Bible Study this week on the 23rd Psalm. We were privileged with the presence of our friends from South Africa. After reading through the short but impactful six verses, I asked the study members to talk about their first experience with the Psalm or what emotions it evokes. I shared how my first introduction of the Psalm involved route memorization, and to my surprise the South Africans experienced the same instruction in school, where curriculum mandated its memorization.   

What I didn’t expect was the personal response to the Psalm. Because of its applicable nature, it hit home to every individual present. I was amazed at how easily we skipped the basic get-to-know you conversations and dove right into personal memories correlated with the Psalm. One of the South Africans cried, another opened up about his deep trust in God and a FELC member confessed she opened to the Psalm whenever she dealt with crisis, even small, daily crises. Somehow, we peeled back the exterior and expressed our inner emotions.

The commonality that bound us and guided us over the bridge of our exteriors into our inner depths was not simply a belief in God. Yes, that helped. But it was our compassion toward those struggling; it was our common experiences with how emotions ravage us during our darkest hours; it was the challenge and reward of deferring our crises to an overarching power beyond our comprehension; all these things broke down our exteriors and guided us toward knowing each other without actually knowing each other.

Now, I will have a new recollection every time I open the 23rd Psalm and read its universality. And I will remember not to be discouraged by the exterior, but strive to delve into the interior. As always, I encourage you to try the same. 

   

Filed under: Follow the Interns!

1 COMMENT | POST A COMMENT

On Tuesday, July 15, 2014, Julie Doerfler said
Beautifully written....very inspirational.

 



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