God’s words, printed on thin paper bound between leather; a Bible.
Bibles are plentiful in my home, almost (but not quite) taken for granted. Read regularly, though we’re transitioning to electronic rather than physical. But certainly not treasured like they should be. I was reminded of that recently, when my daughter returned from a trip to a closed country.
My daughter took my Bible with her. It started innocently enough; she couldn’t find hers, we have basically the same one, so I lent her mine.
It didn’t make it home.
The organization my daughter traveled with recommended each participant take a bilingual Bible (with highlighting, to make it look used) to give away in-country. My daughter did so gladly. We knew, going in, that Bibles were hard to come by. And when the pastor of a church they were visiting asked for another Bible, to give to a new believer, my daughter didn’t hesitate. She pulled out the note cards she knew I’d want to save, and gave my personal Bible away.
When she told me, I cried, not for what she’d given away; Bibles are easy to get in the US – but for what I’d lost – the precious appreciation for a treasure people died for.
Five hundred years ago, almost nobody had a personal copy of the Bible. Almost nobody. Not only were books very difficult to obtain, and also very expensive (each one meticulously printed or copied by hand), but the Church persecuted anyone who dared teach their children the Lord’s Prayer in English rather than Latin?! Men like John Hus, John Wycliffe, and William Tyndale were executed for the heinous crime of translating the Bible into English.
I have a Bible, virtually untouched since it was given to me over ten years ago. It is big, and awkward, and not my favorite translation. But I have been reminded of how precious that treasure actually is. And I pray, but God’s grace, that I will treasure His Word in my heart so dearly that every decision I make will be impacted by it’s influence, and that people who have never met me will be affected by it’s impact on my life.