Last week I wrote about my friend Gulufshoon, a lady who had not had the chance to learn to read, although she’s encouraged her children to seek a good education. She’s been on my mind this week as I realise how many things I take for granted:
Such as the fact that my parents were hugely supportive of my education, that I had access to free education right up to degree level, unlike the young people of today. I learned to read so young I can’t remember doing it and at my Infants School, I’d read all the books in the school by Year 2, and was allowed to bring my own in from the public library!
That we had books at home and an endless supply at the library which was in my village and to which I could go alone once I was 8 or 9, as I had a bike and the roads were safe – more to be grateful about.
Equally, the Bible is freely available in English, we are spoilt for choice in the number of versions available to us. Resources are plentiful and our history means that there is a long tradition of Christian literature right through the ages, translated from the original language or written in English, and hymns from times past that resonate. It’s so easy to take this for granted too.
To never have the opportunity to experience the way words leap from a page into your heart, from a letter, a note of encouragement, a book that speaks to you or a God-given verse from the Bible seems to me a monumental loss that cannot be compensated for by speech alone. Yet there are millions who live without literacy and girls suffer more from lack of opportunity for education and literacy.
In the past, I have not really paused to reflect on how my life is enriched by being literate. May I never have a sense of entitlement too such a gift that so many are without.
When you start counting your blessings you realise how much there is to be grateful for…
and how rarely I am intentionally grateful for it! But this week I definitely am.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart,” Hebrews 4:12