by Rhonda Rhea
My husband once told me that there are two kinds of people in this world. Coverers and users. According to his definition, my grandmother was a coverer. She covered my grandfather’s TV chair with hand towels. There was a special blanket just for covering the sofa. She even had special clear plastic seat covers made for her Chevy. It was her version of Saran-wrapping her car.
Don’t get me wrong. I had all kinds of fun at Grandma’s house. Still, sitting in her car in the summer? Anything but. And actually, the sitting wasn’t as bad as the getting up. I would get out of the car feeling like I needed to reach back in and peel the rest of my legs off that plastic. I left enough DNA in Grandma’s car over the years that if anyone wanted to, they could’ve put together an entire extra me.
I spent every summer with my grandma when I was growing up, yet I don’t think I ever saw her sofa. One of my chores at her house was to straighten the sofa-covering blanket. When I was about twelve years old, I finally asked her, “Grandma, how come the sofa has to stay covered all the time?” She said, “So it will stay nice.”
I didn’t get it. “So…what good does it do to have a nice sofa that we’ve never seen?” Grandma just chuckled.
Watching my grandma is possibly what motivated me to become a user. I may actually be an over-user. I’ve never had china so good we couldn’t use it. I confess, some of my china is now powder. The best towels are always out. It’s not long before my good towels go completely stringy on me. It’s like I’m hanging fringe on the towel bars. My furniture is always uncovered. Talk about used. We go through another couch every other year or so, but we at least get to watch it disintegrate.
As a matter of fact, just before I had my first baby, I bought an ivory and peach-colored sofa. Mercy. By the third or fourth baby that sofa was at least 75% apple juice. And that was the good fluid it absorbed. I shudder to think how many miscellaneous baby drippings were coagulating in there.
If you’re a coverer, you’re probably asking why a good sofa had to die so young. And okay, you’re a little right. It might’ve been saved if I’d been more careful.
Maybe there’s some place in the middle where users and coverers can meet and find a healthy harmony—a balance somewhere this side of skin-grafting plastic and the other side of sofas that could start plagues.
When it comes to God’s Word, though, we should all be users. “But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves,” (James 1:22, HCSB).
It’s easy to deceive ourselves into believing we’re doing our spiritual duty by reading the Bible, but then forget it’s our privilege and blessing to use it—to apply its truths to our lives, and to let those truths change us.
We’re called to use it. And it’s funny, because God’s Word is also our protection, our cover. There is always great blessing there. From cover to cover.