CHARACTERS, EVENTS, LIFE LESSONS

I GREW UP in a military family, and we moved around a lot. Despite the frequent moves, my mom always made sure I was enrolled in a Sunday School—Congregational at first, Methodist later.

I vividly remember reciting Psalm 24, verses 7—10, out loud from memory when I was quite young. They begin, "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in...." I also remember a very kindly minister approving of my having done that. Few other details remain of that childhood experience. But at some point I began to think of the Bible not only as beautiful poetry but as literature, full of characters and events that had life lessons to teach.

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