Feast day of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist

by Liz Goodyear Jones

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

How funny to discover the great love of my life is the English language and writing. I should have known. There was and is very little I treasure more than a book. 

Learning to read came hard for me. Left-handed and left-eyed I just naturally began on the right side of the page and tried to read left. I was eight before my epiphany occurred, through the form of my third-grade teacher, Miss Mae Fulmer. My angel of mercy.

I began that year of 1954 as a yellow bird, a euphemism for those who could not yet read, even though we all knew what those yellow feathers meant. But by years’ end I had joined the blue birds, not only for fastest readers but the herald of happiness for me evermore.

The flight from yellow to blue bird was impossibly hard. I felt as though hieroglyphic symbols danced their way across the pages in incomprehensible movements. Then, one day it was as though those strange black markings on paper swam through up my confusion to the surface of the page and there – there was a Word and I could read it. 

Seventy years later, it is still the Word swimming up my consciousness that illumines and transforms my every day, ordinary living. Evocative and pungent, it has become, of course the Word of God and the Light of Christ about whom John so irreplaceably writes! “In the beginning there was the Word, the Logos. Everything came into being out of that.” 

Same for me then, and same for me now.

 Thank you, John. Thank you, Miss Mae Fulmer. Thank you, God

The Reverend Liz Goodyear Jones lives at the beach just outside New Orleans. Her husband Dave is a jazz musician and abstract artist, while their daughter Sarah works in the art world in NYC.


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