Duct Tape or Dust

We’ve all seen beautiful Bibles. Some Bibles are leather bound, some pewter bound, some with beautiful pictures inside, and gold leaf pages. I will tell you though that a couple of years ago, I saw the most beautiful Bible that I have ever seen and it was like none of the above.

My grandfather had a much younger friend named Theron who granddaddy took under his wing many years ago. This friend loved my grandfather dearly, like a brother. I can understand why he and granddaddy were friends because they both had the same personality, the same sense of humor. I got to know him when he moved into the  Independent Living facility that my mother lives in. I was visiting mama for a few days and one day Mr. Theron wanted us to walk with him down to his room. I think he wanted to show us something, I don’t really recall. All that I remember is walking into his room and laying my eyes on the most beautiful Bible that I have ever seen. Mr. Theron’s Bible was sitting on a small bedside table. It wasn’t bound in “Lux” leather,  it wasn’t trimmed in gold. It was just a plain black Bible,  terribly worn around the edges, and the old worn out spine was bound in silver duct tape. Yes, that duct tape was a beautiful sight, a beautiful testimony of a man’s life. How many times over his ninety years he must have read that precious Book, found comfort, found guidance, and found God in it. Mr. Theron passed away about a year later and I have no doubt of where he is right now. He had no idea that I saw his duct taped Bible, or how the moment of seeing it bound and worn as it was, affected me. I hope one of his daughters or grandchildren have that Bible on their own bedside table. It is something to cherish.

I look at my own Bible today. I have had this Bible since I was thirteen years old. It is the Living Bible version and was given to me by my cousins during a hospital stay that lasted for several weeks. If you have ever read a Living Bible, you know it is a little easier to read than the King James. I do still read the King James version and other versions, but this Bible is the one most read by me and goes with me everywhere I go.  It was such a precious, beautiful gift, but I haven’t always treated it that way.  When I was younger I was probably like a lot of other people are when it comes to the Bible because the Bible can be difficult to read, to get in to. For years, my Living Bible would sit on a shelf in my bedroom. I would carry it to church and occasionally open it every week or two, but that was about it. Then I got married and my Bible was packed away in a box. I made the excuse that it was too big to have to bring with me as we traveled everywhere for baseball, or I didn’t want something to happen to it while we traveled. Then when we finally bought a house, my Bible was back on the shelf with the same routine as before. After a while it was moved from a shelf to a bedside table and as I was dusting one day, I felt ashamed. I looked at my Bible and saw a light coating of dust. Dust on my Bible. It looked almost pristine underneath that dust. No worn edges, no duct tape. Then I thought about my Christian life and my relationship with God. My Bible was a reflection of how that was going. My life following Christ, my relationship with God had been placed in a box, on a shelf, was coated in dust. That very moment I decided I needed to seriously get into God’s Word. I started small to make it into a routine. Each and every morning before anything else, I would just open it up, read and study. I used study guides, sermons, my lap top to help me with the meaning of His Word. In the past few years I have read through the entire Bible . I started with the smaller books, not reading in order, and I have read through it three times in the last four years. I learn something new each time, and I understand more about our wonderful God. It was the just getting started part that was hard, but once I overcame that, my spending time in His Word is something I look forward to each and every morning.

Now I look over at my Bible sitting beside me. I have written and underlined many things inside. The edges are starting to be worn and the spine is getting weak. In the near future I may have to get the duct tape out. One day I hope someone will look at that Book sitting on my bedside table and be affected like I was by dear Theron’s, and one day I hope someone else will cherish it. God’s Word is to be cherished to the point that it has to be bound in duct tape, not laid aside to be covered in dust.

Love, M

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.  —Psalm 119:105