Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Red Bible: Part 1

Growing up in a churched family we all had our own Bibles. Mine was a pink New Testament with my name etched in gold on the cover. It fit perfectly clutched in my little hands and had a pretty pink ribbon bookmark that I could wrap around one of my fingers. My mother had written inside in cursive so it was years before I could read "We love you! Dad and Mom." I loved my little pink Bible- mostly because it was pink and had my name on it. In the early 80's you could find all sorts of trinkets with my name but almost all were spelled wrong. T-r-a-c-y looked so beautiful and right.

Every Sunday morning our family of four would go through our pre-church routine. We had only one bathroom and we stuck to the same rotation so we wouldn't all rush for the shower at the same time. Somehow we all managed to meet at the car at the same time each of us with a Bible, my mom with her purse. She would pass her and Dad's Bibles to the backseat for me to hold while she rummaged in her purse for mints.

I loved to hold her Bible. It was red leather. Good leather. The kind that gets softer with age. It was smooth to the touch. She wrote on her pages (something I was afraid to do as my schoolteachers repeatedly reminded us never to write in books). She has very distinct handwriting- neat, straight, with pretty tails on the appropriate letters. I didn't look inside often because the pages in Romans were loose and starting to fall out. I didn't want to be the one responsible for the final tug that would pull the chapters free. I know she kept a love note I'd written to her in the book of Matthew.

Once I outgrew my pink New Testament I got a plain black KJV from my Sunday School class. When I turned 13 I got a brand new NIV Student Bible. It was reddish leather and I was proud- almost like my mom's. But as I used that Bible and roughed it up a little the "leather" didn't soften. Instead it peeled and cracked revealing cardboard underneath. Someday I'd get a Bible like Mom's, I thought.

Graduation came and I began to plan, prepare, and pack to go off to Bible College. I must have packed and repacked 50 times that summer. The excitement of college and expectation of independence was mingled with the dread of leaving home. If only I could pack enough to bring "home" with me.

My mom came in my room on one of my packing days and watched.

"Do you think you have everything?" she asked.

"I guess..." I looked around the room, doubtful.

She glanced at my stack of books. "You'll probably need a different Bible."

She was right of course. The Student Bible was for teenagers and I was mature now- going away to school.

"Would you look to take mine?"


Leah in Iowa said...

Oh, that is so sweet! What a Mom you had!! Do you find yourself paging through her Bible, wondering why she underlined the passages she did? Wondering what she was experiencing in her life at that time? Wondering about the twists and turns on her spiritual journey, as you're not that far behind her? After all, she was/is a mom, just like you! =)

~ Leah

thehomespunheart said...

Oh, how sweet! I can't wait to hear the rest of the story ~ I can tell where you learned to be a great mom from! :)