Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Red Bible: Part 2

She was giving her Bible to me. She turned to the front page where her maiden name was written in the upper right hand corner, a squiggly line through it, her married name written underneath.

"My parents gave this Bible to me when I left for Bible school and now I'm giving it to you."

Once I got to college and the assignments started pouring in I could turn those pages to my hearts content. I could even write in it. I added my name to the list on the front page. Three different names, three different seasons of life. We went to different colleges but I discovered we had one of the same teachers. I went to mark a passage in the margin as the professor was speaking and I noticed it was already marked. Next to the passage it read "Dr. Whitcomb" and I felt a little thrill in my heart as if that mark bonded us, my mother and I.

As I read through that Bible I discovered struggles my mother had gone through and the scriptures that encouraged her. An underlined passage read "Carl's funeral," a friend who had died while she was in college. My mom and I didn't talk growing up. We fought a lot. It was mostly my fault. I was filled with teenage angst and liked to keep my private thoughts private. I didn't ask her questions either because I didn't want to be in a conversation that involved any kind of sharing personal information. Having her Bible with all her notes was like having the most meaningful conversation we could have. I began to see verses as she saw them and I was able to understand her a little better.

A few years later I married and the first Sunday we returned to church I drew a line through my maiden name and wrote my married name underneath. Another name, another season. That red Bible was mine now. I used it for devotions, for church, on retreats. One Sunday, a few years into our marriage, in the rush of getting ready I grabbed a different Bible that fit in my purse a little better. After awhile that Bible became my "regular" whether it was out of convenience or out of laziness for not taking the time to look for the red one. I pushed the red Bible into the back of my mind, not really forgetting it but overlooking it.

Over time I started to miss the red Bible. I missed the surprises of finding my mother's handwriting next to a passage that moved my heart. I longed to turn a page and make a discovery and see that she also was moved. So, a few weeks or months after I'd picked up the new Bible I went to the shelf to find my old red one. But when I reached up and looked for it my heart dropped to my stomach. It was gone. I looked all over our tiny apartment and enlisted the help of my husband but our search was fruitless.

I had lost the red Bible.


Leah in Iowa said...

What? Lost "Little Red"? =( Hopefully someone knows one of the four people whose names are written in the front and returns it!

~ Leah

thehomespunheart said...

Oh, please tell me this story has a happy ending!?

Another well-written post, I can't wait to find out what happens next...

Coach J said...

Is this it??!! I'm hanging out here!! Going crazy...where is that red Bible??
Please, please tell us what happened next!!