Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Red Bible: Part 3

I was heartsick. All of the sudden the Bible I'd pushed to the back of my mind had become the one thing I couldn't stop thinking about. I couldn't sleep and anytime I thought about it my eyes would fill with tears. How could I have been so careless?

I started to retrace my steps over the last few months. We'd visited my husband's grandparents in Florida so I called. They hadn't seen it but promised to look. I was in a wedding in Canada so I called my friend there. She hadn't seen it either nor had her parents. Where else? Where else? We lived at a Bible camp at the time and, really, it could have been anywhere on the property. I looked through all the lost and found boxes and on every bookshelf in every office. I looked in storage closets and asked every single staff member to keep their eyes open.

One of the staff members reminded me we had had a Ladies Retreat. A wave of dread washed over me. At that particular retreat all of the ladies were given matching tote bags to carry their Bibles and notebooks. I couldn't remember if I had used the red Bible at the retreat but I couldn't find my tote bag or my notebook so I knew I was in trouble. I was envisioning some woman tossing her tote bag in a corner and forgetting about it. I prayed the Lord would let her find my Bible and then let her find me.

For seven years I prayed that I would find that Bible. I made up elaborate stories in my head about how it would be found. A stranger would show up on my doorstep with the Bible in hand, an owner of a used bookstore would find my name and contact me, or something else incredibly interesting. We moved twice in those seven years and every time I packed I thought, "I bet I'll find that Bible." I didn't. Every time I unpacked and got to that last box I'd think, "Here it is! I'm sure it's here!" It wasn't.

The last move was a move back to Michigan. Back home, close to our families. We all live, work, and attend church near each other and our paths frequently cross- swapping kids, doing business, visiting church for one function or another.

My sister-in-law called one day while she was cleaning at her church and asked when I picked up the phone, "How much do you love me?" We aren't very affectionate with each other normally so I laughed and asked suspiciously, "Why?"

She answered, "Because I'm cleaning off Dad's bookshelves in his office because he's never cleaned them.........and I just found your red Bible."

"Wha...??" I burst into tears.

"Would you like me to bring it to you?" she asked.

And I answered through my tears, "Can you bring it right now?"

And she did.

So, I sit here with my red Bible next to me, it's soft leather cover, it's loose, tattered pages and I'm thankful. Thankful not only for the lessons I learned in Bible college, the connections with my mother, but also for this lesson. The lesson that God knows my heart's desires and he hears my prayers.

He gave me my red Bible back.

7 comments:

thehomespunheart said...

Oh my goodness - what a story! So, was this just recently that you got it back?

What adventures the Bible has had in the past years and who knows what a blessing it was to anyone else who saw it in those years. I am so glad you have it back and that this story has a happy ending!!!!!

Tracy said...

I got it back within the last year. Now if only I could find the diamond necklace I got for my 21st birthday...that's been gone for 5 years...

Coach J said...

I am SO glad God gave you back that red Bible!! Seven years! That's a long time. Had it been sitting on your dad's book shelf that whole time? There's no telling what he's gleaned from your mom's notes, and I'm glad you have it back to connect with your mom and her thoughts about God's words to her.
Yay for a happy ending!!
As for the diamond necklace....my first diamond wedding ring was stolen over 10 yrs ago, and I'm still hoping God will send it back to me!!

carrie said...

Tracy,

That is so cool. You kept us in suspense, but I was hoping for a happy ending! =)

Leah in Iowa said...

I was hoping for a happy ending, too! I'm glad it showed up! =)

~ Leah

annie said...

What a sweet story, I just love happy endings! My mother had/has a soft red leather bible too.

Elisabeth Drake said...

i don't cry much you know, but your story did make me tear up just a bit!