Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Straight and Narrow Way

My maternal great-grandmother, who I called "Oma" was a wonderful German woman. At least I think she was. Unfortunately I never developed a very close relationship with her. She immigrated from Germany along with her husband, and children which included my newly married grandparents. She retained a thick German accent which, I have to admit, to a kid, was indimidating. In the mid 1980's she also suffered a stroke which caused her to lose the use of her left side, especially her arm.

We usually visited her home whenever we were in Alberta but never stayed for too long. I remember the house but I don't have a lot of memories from there. When she passed away in 1997 after a lengthy stay at an assisted living facility, there was only one thing that I wanted to remember her by. It was the one thing that I really remember from her house. This picture.

It hung in the rec-room in the basement. I used to stand and stare at this picture. It is an illustration of Matthew 7:13-14. "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

The words are all in German but you can see that they are scripture references. I remember looking at it and thinking that I know I should want to take the path on the right because it leads to salvation but wanting to take the path on the left because face it, it's way more inviting.

I've had this picture for over ten years now. In that time I've moved five times. I've never really done anything with the picture. It's a bit odd so I've never actually hung it up. For most of that time it's sat in the back of my closet. Recently I pulled it out and decided to finally translate the scripture verses like I had originally intended when I actually got the picture.

Translating is harder than it looks! Some of the verses, like "Joh 3:16" were easy. Some took a bit of detective work but once I found them, they were just funny. Like Exodus 20:13. The German equivilant for Exodus is "Mof" or something. It has to do with it being a "book of Moses". Anyways, the picture beside the scripture verse (at the top of the image at left) is of two guys with guns aimed at another guy. Any guess as to what Exodus 20:13 is? Yup! "Thou shalt not kill"!

Some of the verses were next to impossible. I printed off a list of the German equivilent of the books of the bible which helped a lot but even then I had to use a process of elimination for some. For example, what book of the bible contains the following scriptures: 20:13, 23:46-47 and 33:11. Any guesses?

Now that I've read all the verses (in English) and now that I'm twice as old as when I used to read it and think the left path was better, I can definitely say that even though it's dark, the path on the right gives way more hope.

I think I'll even hang it up finally. It's a good reminder of lots of things, not the least of which is Oma.

1 comment:

Veronica said...

What a great memory! And I love the picture too. If you need help figuring out the remaining verses, I have a bible in German (it was my great grandmother's)