(or is it the other way around?)
I’m going to say something that could very well shock you. It may even sicken you.
I’ve read all 7 Harry Potter books, with the exception of the last 200 pages.
I don’t know why I couldn’t finish that last one. Maybe I was too busy. Maybe I was *over it*. Maybe I knew someone died and I didn’t want it to become reality. In any case, it sat, unfinished on my nightstand for 6 months before my Hubby took it from the dust field so he could read it again… for the third (fourth?) time.
Even though I never finished the Harry Potter series, please don’t dismiss this post. I may not be one of the cool kids, but I’ve spent countless hours reading the first 6.5 books, I assure you! And yes, I’ll go see the movie, but not at midnight and NOT in costume. Mama doesn’t do that for ANY movie… not even Grease.
In the first Harry book, he goes to to pick out his wand at the local wizarding wand shop. Hilarity ensues, of course, when he starts holding various wands, because *the* wand hasn’t yet chosen him. He goes through nearly every wand in the joint, only to settle upon *the* wand… it was made for him, though many had been tried in it’s place. A wand is a special and very personal thing.
This is what picking out a Bible is like.
The Hubby and I went to the beautiful State of Washington in the Spring of 2006 to tell his Dad and Stepmom that we were pregnant with our Big. He is an only child and we knew, given the close nature of his relationship with both of his parents, that telling them of their first grandchild face-to-face was the only way to go. So, we planned our “family” vacation around Washington and flying to Colorado from Seattle. But that’s not what this story is about.
We went to dinner one night, and for whatever reason, we drove separately from his Dad and Stepmom. We had talked, at length, about wanting to raise our children with Christian values, and though we hadn’t found a Home Church that fit our needs and our hearts to the extent we knew God was calling us, we both felt that getting a Bible of our very own was an important step.
Now, let me remind you. I was baptized at 1-year and 6-days old. I was confirmed at 14. I grew up in the church. My Hubby went to a Christian school for most of his educational career and was also brought up in the Church. Our household was not lacking in Bibles. But none of the SIX (yes, six) Bibles on my book shelf were mine, even though they all had some sort of inscription from someone who was well-meaning and wanted to foster my love for Christ.
But they all cast funny spells. They didn’t feel right. They weren’t made for my hands, nor my heart. They didn’t work the way they were intended to.
My Hubby and I spent, I kid you not, two hours picking up Bibles at Barnes and Noble that night. We read different translations, judged books by their covers, held large-font Bibles, pocket Bibles, illustrated Bibles, New Testament Only Bibles, hard-bound Bibles, paperback Bibles… Some of them, we held more than once because we a) weren’t sure if we had held it before and b) wanted to give the poor thing the benefit of the doubt, because it was surely supposed to be the perfect one! (I’m a sucker for red, and I *really* wanted the red leather bound one to be *mine*)
And then we found them. We found the Books that we would make notations in, and truly treat as The Living Word. We found the Books that fit in our hands nicely, spoke to our hearts, and made us hungry for The Word. My Bible is a Life Application Study Bible in the New International Version with a simple black leather cover. It was *perfect*. It had notations in it that I felt would deepen my understanding of what I was reading. It spoke to me in a language not so olde tyme that I couldn’t understand what was being said but not so *hip* that I thought it didn’t pay the proper reverence to what was being said. I’m not 16 anymore, so I don’t want to hear that Jesus was with His homies in a boat, takin’ a catnap, when El Nino broke out and He stood and said “Chill”, and the storm stopped.
So, we took these gems home and devoured every.single.word for the rest of our lives. The End.
Nope. We took them home, put them on the shelf, and now we had EIGHT Bibles collecting dust.
It wasn’t until we found that Home Church that I ached for that those Bibles called to me.
Now, my Bible sits in the kitchen, The Hub of our family life. It is at the ready for morning quiet time, for reference throughout the week when times trouble me, and for peace on the days I need more patience and grace with my kids and I know it’s the only place I am going to find it. And I write in it with PEN. God didn’t mean for you to erase what you’ve learned as you read. I underline/ star/ write questions/ and write down favorite passages in the back… all in PEN. This is the first Bible I’ve felt ok doing that in, and the last Bible I ever want to buy.
This is the Bible I want my kids to fight over when I am dust. This is the Bible I want to be read from at my funeral, reading the notes that are private to me today, but show who I am, who I’ve been, and who I want to be. This is the Bible that will remind me of these things as I am living.
God spoke to us through these Bibles. No, I don’t mean that I hear a loud booming voice and pictured a long white bearded guy on a cloud. God doesn’t work that way… (at least, not for me). He speaks to me in a matter-of-fact way and I’ve learned to trust Him, even when it doesn’t lead me to do what *I* want to do right then, like devouring The Word. But it comes. With patience, trust, faith, hope, and unending love, it comes.
This Bible still feels like home in my hands. I love it. I cherish it. I honor it. I am forming a relationship with it, and will be for the rest of my life. I talk to it. I learn from it. I sometimes don’t agree with it, but I have faith that I am going to learn an important lesson from even the things that are hard for me to read and understand. It’s a battle to read it with an open heart, but I do it no justice to not. I pray before I read that I may receive the message I am meant to hear to bring me closer to God.
I wonder what Harry Potter felt when he held his wand for the first time…