Dislocated Exegesis

Kathy Randall: Lela, Maseno, Kenya
In Chuck Campbell’s preaching class, one of our assignments was dislocated exegesis. Basically it required reading a specific scripture passage for an hour in a place that you normally wouldn’t read scripture. Given examples were in a bank or hotel lobby, at a hospital, on a bus, or somewhere that you felt out of place. I read my passage on the C-1, the main undergrad bus at Duke. I ended up having to ride three buses, because they kept shutting down the route, and I thought that it was interesting to read about an outcast, and have to give up my seat so often.
I had no idea how forceful an actual experience of true dislocation could be. On Friday, I was sitting in the hospital again, this time supposedly healthy, waiting for my lab results. Since I was waiting, I got out something to read. My Bible, of course, it is the easiest to carry, and I was preaching on Sunday. I began to read 2 Kings 5:1-17, the healing of Naaman. As I was reading about Naaman, who had to leave his home to be healed, I realized that I was also away from my own home, waiting to be seen, as Naaman waited to be healed.
As I preached the passage on Sunday, the girls at the primary school showed how spirit filled worship can be, and showed me how powerful a community that lives and worships and praises together can be. I praise God for those girls, I praise God for the words I received in preaching, and I praise God for allowing me to see that the lessons I have been learning are truly essential to all of my work, in every place I go.
Let me not forget that.


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