I am about to do a complicated surgery on a very dear friend. I have all my instruments in order on my big island counter and there is no reason not to dive in and fix this poor old one’s issues. I hesitate because this one has a life all of its own and I cringe to think I could ruin it. I feel the pressure as we have been through a lot together. Sweat beads on my brow and I lament that I do not have a nurse to blot it off. Alas, I must do this alone.
About 2 years ago, I noticed that my friend was about to lose pages in Genesis. At that time I could see the inevitable coming, so I bought a replacement. As hard as I tried, I found myself going back to my love, my trusty Bible from when Cole was just a little guy.
The one I was using at the time was a real basic one with no study helps, concordances or anything extra. I had cross-stitched and sewn a cute little cover for it and it had gone with me not only through crossing the Red Sea, but through showers of Kool-aid from little girls Vacation Bible School adventures. Some pages were stained pink and had a few cute stickers, decorating them-gifts to me when I wasn’t looking. How sad it was when it started to fall apart. While precious to me, it was good timing because I was ready to study deeper. In fact researching what I wanted took many days with the CBD catalog and ended in actual headaches.
With birthday money and hours of debating, I bought one and brought it home. I was so excited. Those wonderfully crisp, clean pages promised of great discovery.
That same day I walk into to find my 2-year-old son, the Destroyer, sitting on the dining room table, pen in hand. He had my bible open and was creating great scribble art to his heart’s content. Not appreciating his attempts of a book-signing, I remember bursting into tears with the words “Can we never have anything nice?” When I calmed down, I marked the site with ‘by Cole”. Little did I know that now, that silly scribble is one the big reasons I can’t give this Bible up. How precious it is! Ironically, those same blank pages in the front and the back now have my scribbles of things that are almost as good as scripture. I have taped in lyrics from a few Casting Crowns songs, quotes from Gracia Burnham, some sermon notes of Charles Stanley, a prayer that was one of Mother Teresa’s favorites, charts of who our present day countries are vs their names in bible times, ways to pray for my husband, and much more.
Since I believe firmly in making one’s Bible her own, I have notes, stars, underlining, highlighting, etc. festooned on many pages. I may not be able to tell you the exact handle of a scripture, but I can tell you it’s on the left hand side of the page, 1st column, 2nd paragraph, and has the note “polka-dotted” next to it. Yes, I do remember what that clue means, even if no one else does. On 9-11 as calls came into the radio station that our country was under attack, I remember stopping to pray on the air. Directly afterwards, God gave me Psalm 64. If it doesn’t hit what was going on smack dab on the head, I don’t know what would. So it is dated. Along with many other passages with many other dates I don’t want to forget how God was there for me.
I’m not even going to start in about all of life we have gone through together. That would end up a blog longer than Gone With the Wind. I will spare you that, Scarlett. Lets just say, there are pages smudged with lots of tears. In some spots, if you open it just right, I swear you will hear jubilant praise and want to break out some dance moves.
The other night I noticed if I didn’t retire this Bible, I would lose pages of Genesis and now Revelation. Since God is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, one doesn’t mess with the first and last books of the Bible. I knew a decision had to be made. From left field came the thought of Joyce Clarke. Joyce has a reputation in these parts of being able to bind any book like a pro. It’s been one of her ministries. When I grow up, I would love to be like Joyce. It hit me, ‘why not start by trying your hand on your Bible?’ Freak me out! I am unqualified. Sure I can read up on it on the Internet, but really? My first attempt? This book is not just any old book. It’s the Word of God, which is ‘living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword.” Inexperienced me is really going to cut up the Sword with a measly Exacto knife? Then I am going to glue it back together with rubber cement? I can’t even keep saran wrap from sticking together.
Just now God made me chuckle and made his point at the same time. Guess what scripture I ran across? “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:15.
So the operating table is set. I have studied everything I can get my hands on. I have the tools. The patient lies in front of me. I will pray my way through as the Great Physician guides my hand.