Thursday, June 19, 2008

Things I Learned from My First Bible

I was going to put this in the post above, but after I had it typed in, I realized it was pretty long in and of itself, and the other post was long, so I decided to break them up. I think this can stand alone.

I think I've told y'all before about my first "real" Bible. My mom and dad gave it to me when I was in early elementary school. I loved that Bible. I was going to save the world with that Bible.

You have to get this picture.

My grandparents had the perfect symmetrical yard with the sidewalk running right down the middle. On one end was the gate, and the other was the front steps.

Well, my friends, this was the perfect church. Three or four rows of two chairs on both sides, and folks could walk right in the back door (gate) and have a seat to see me on the platform from whence I preached (the porch). One day I was out there, Bible in handk, pouring out scripture from the Word, snatching souls from the pit of eternal fire when my grandma called me in for lunch. Back then, I didn't know the importance of breaking bread, but I knew the importance of not making Grandma wait.

As it turned out, it was the Last Supper because that was the last time I saw my Bible intact.

When I returned to the pulpit, tears filled my eyes. There on the floor--ground--were not sinners weeping in repentence, but my Bible in bits and pieces and partially in my grandparents' dog's mouth.

I was crushed. I picked up every piece I could find. I hoped Momma had enough tape to put it back together, but there were a lot of pieces.

That night, the prognosis was given: the Bible was beyond repair. I sobbed some more.

My parents were not well off. While we never went hungry, surprise expenses often sent the grocery budget into a large pot of beans for several days. Bibles were not cheap, not bound ones with the silver edge on the pages. Still, my daddy said he'd get another one for me. He said he figured if someone was going to lose a Bible, the best way to lose it was preaching the gospel.

My mom put the remains of my Bible into a paper bag coffin, curled the top down tight, and taped it closed. She entombed it in the top of my closet close enough to the front of the shelf where I could see the edge and know it was there but far enough back so it wasn't the forefront of my thoughts.

It was the perfect burial.

The next day my dad walked in the door with a new Bible. Bound. Silver edges on the pages. Even had my name on it.I have no idea where he got it or how he paid for it. I only know to me, it was priceless.

I tell you this for two reasons:

First, I still see my momma putting that little paper bag coffin on the shelf of my closet. I remember the feeling of value and love knowing she understood the depth of my loss.

Second, never underestimate the power of sowing into a child's dream. My daddy could have rebuked me for being careless. Instead, he blessed me for being passionate.

May God grant us the wisdom to bless others' dreams and keep them alive.

1 comments:

Mary Brinton said...

That makes me weep - the love your parents showed. They respected how important that Bible was to you and what it represented. And how special the second Bible must have been to you as well.

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