The Book in My Hand
Although I’ve told this story on a number of occasions, it suits the heart of what I want us to remember as we launch this new blog category.
I had just completed my first year in university. Lee and I had known each other since our first classes together, but we had only been dating for a number of weeks. I was preparing to travel for the summer with a drama team which would mean that I would be away for almost three months. Just before I was ready to climb aboard the 16 passenger van that would be “home” for the next several weeks, Lee handed me a package and said, “Don’t open it until you’re on the road.” (For some sense of context, these were the days before cell phones, Facebook, and SKYPE and we were too poor to afford many long distance charges.) When I finally opened the package, what I found was a small “scrapbook” of sorts. It was clear that it was “handcrafted”, each page filled with poems and pictures, quotes and Bible passages – each, in its own way, saying, “Look in this book and see me. See how valuable you are to me. See how much I love you. Please don’t forget it. Please don’t doubt it.”
I probably don’t have to tell you that I needed no excuse to find a place to be alone and take out that scrapbook. I took in every word, gazed at every picture – and in that way, closed the miles between us. When I had that book in my hand I turned the pages just to feel the texture. I smelled the flower petals ~ from bouquets I had given her ~ pasted on the pages. Sometimes, I read the book aloud, imagining those words in her voice.
Why read the Bible? Why pay close attention to the text? Because the God who made the universe (and who is determined that you know who He is) has spoken His words to prophets and holy men through the centuries. He caused those words to be recorded in a book so that you can open it and He can say, “Look in this book and see Me. Read this book and hear Me. See how valuable you are to Me. See how much I love you. Please don’t ever forget it. Please don’t ever doubt it.”
Editor’s Note: Tom and Lee were married the next summer.