Reading, but not Reading

In the preface to Eat This Book, author Eugene Peterson tells of the day his wife picked up their seven-year-old grandson Hans for a trip to the museum. The two of  them stopped at the park to eat lunch. As they were about to leave, Hans who had not yet learned to read, took a New Testament from his book bag and held it in front of him and carefully scanned the page.

The incident amused Peterson. But he also saw in it a parable of the way we often approach the Bible: ‘Hans, on that park bench, his eyes moving back and forth across the pages of his Bible, ‘reading’ but not reading, reverent and devout but uncomprehending, honoring in a most precious way this book but without any awareness that it has anything to do with either the lettuce and mayonnaise sandwich he has just  eaten or the museum he is about to visit, oblivious to his grandmother next to him: Hans ‘reading’  the Bible. A parable.”

“The Power of Comparison.” Moody Handbook of Preaching.