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Father, Why do you Read?

colander 1

An Anecdote from Ibrahim Sharifi

A son noticed his father reading the Bible. He said, ‘You are a poorly educated man. Why do you read, when you won’t understand 95% of what you’re reading?’.


His father thought for five minutes, then walked to the kitchen and found a large black dirty colander that was used to carry charcoal for their kitchen fire. He gave it to his son and asked him to fetch some water. 


The son replied, ‘No. There are too many holes’. His father said, ‘I’m telling you, go! Do it’.


So the son took the colander, filled it with water, brought it to his father, and, sure enough, it was empty. He said, ‘I told you so. It’s impossible’.


The father sent him to try a second time. Again, the colander was empty. So he sent him again, up to seven, eight, nine, ten times. Every time the colander was empty. There were too many holes.


Eventually the son ran out of patience and said with anger in his voice, ‘Father, I told you. This is impossible!’


‘My son’, said the father, ‘when you first took the colander, what colour was it?’ ‘It was black, dirty and smelly’. ‘OK, how is it now?’ The son replied, ‘It is clean and white. After all, it’s been washed ten times’.


‘That’s why I read the Bible every day. When I open this Word, it cleanses my heart and purifies my mind. It helps me to stay close to Jesus. It doesn’t matter that I don’t understand everything. What matters is what God is doing in my heart as I read his Word’.