Momma wrote the following poem about me when I was 9 years old. After our return from Palestine, I watched my father give presentations to fellow pastors and groups of parishioners. Those presentations seemed to be very important: everyone wanted to know all that he had seen and learned. But nobody was talking to the children and this was an oversight that I knew I could correct. I donned my little Arabic costume we’d bought as a souvenir and gave my presentation to kids my age. Apparently Momma watched me and this is what she saw:
Nine-year-old Lynn returned with her parents
from a tour to the Holy Land.
The curious neighbor kids
asked if they could see the picture slides.
“Sure”, Lynn said
then questioned her did
if she could run his projector.
And the children sat
cross-legged and wide-eyed
while Lynn gave her lecture.
Intrigued, one asked,
“But how did they KNOW
that THAT was the exact spot
where Jesus was born?”
The young authority paused but a moment
then quickly spoke up, “Well,” she said,
“because … well … a bunch of scientists
just smelled around …
kinda like our dog when she looks for a bone.
And then they all threw down a stone
and all at once they said, ‘This is it!’
And that’s the way it was!”
I have since learned that there really is a science to Science and that the things we assume to know about history have entered our collective psyches as “fact” as a result of intensive research, testing, analysis, and lengthy debates. However, I still believe very much that the questions, ideas, and hypotheses that lead to our understanding of “facts” are rooted in instinct, much like smelling around to find the right place to start. I wouldn’t refer to it as “smelling” anymore, but rather as inspiration.