. . .it slows me down when I read the Bible. I have read the book of Lamentations many times. I know the background. But when I was teaching it to my students this week, we really took our time preparing to read.
What was Jeremiah’s job? How did people treat him? What happened to Jerusalem? What kinds of things had Jeremiah seen? Do you think he knew some of the people who died? What happened to the temple? What happened to most of the people? Who was left?
Their vivid answers were so fresh in my mind that when I picked up Lamentations to start reading it to them, I made it about two verses before I had to stop and get tissues. I have never cried over this book before, but taking the time to help them imagine its context helped me to experience its pathos. Even when I’m not undone by the emotion of a Bible passage, I know that slowing down to check for my students’ comprehension enhances my own.