6/18/08

My Treasured, ''Eaten'' Bible

My favorite Bible is not only dog-eared, it is dog-chewed. In 1967, my old dog, Muffy, decided its red leather cover was tastier than his chew-bone one day, and the poor Bible was never the same. Next to one corner of the damaged cover, on the inside flap, I later wrote, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them” (Jeremiah 15:16). I was a smart-aleck kid.

When my dad’s parents gave me this Bible on my birthday, it also contained my Grandmother’s words: “Grandpa and I don’t have much worldly goods to leave you, but we do have the Lord to give to you. May His Word be one of the guides of your life, and may you go forth determined to serve Him. (Psalm 27: 1, 4-5, 14).”

This was the book I studied at Bible College. Many years later, the binding is broken, and pages stick out unevenly, fraying with continued use. The front and back flyleafs are crammed with quotations and references, and its onion skin pages are full of underlinings that bleed through everywhere. Whole pages are scotch-taped in place. It’s not the easiest Bible to use anymore. I continually stuff in loose pages, and try not to tear the fragile ones. It is still my favorite Bible.

A couple of Christmases ago, my youngest son and his wife bought me a replacement as a gift. It is an exact duplicate but with thicker pages, and I’m slowly transferring my notes. Someday, I will give my older son the original Bible, and I will return the newer Bible with copied notes to my younger son. As far as I’m concerned, these will be my most valuable gifts to leave behind. The Word of God lasts forever, and I pray that it will guide their lives as it has mine.

The blessing of my “eaten” Bible is that God has used the study of His Word in my life—not only for personal edification, but for ministry to others. Today, I testify to the second part of Jeremiah 15:16, “... and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart... .”

1 comment:

shaybert said...

Oh Dawn. This is so sweet. Jay pulled Genesis out of my old Scofield Reference Bible that I used in college. The Bible I use currently was in our rollover wreck and has mud on the rumpled pages. I am slowly transferring those notes from the old one to the new-er one. Nice to know I'm not the only one doing that. Blessings!