My Old Bible

Did you ever have something that meant so much to you; something that was a part of your everyday life; something that you didn’t think you could let go of?

That “something” for me was my King James Version, Ryrie Study Bible. The time was May, 2003; and this Bible had been my “familiar friend” since August, 1987. I am certain of the dates because I wrote them down… in my Bible. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a sin to write in your Bible. If it was a sin, I would be the “chief” of sinners.

My Bible looked like a road map that had every tiny town, village, hamlet, and back road listed on it. I thought all this was normal until somebody would make a comment such as: “How in the world do you read that?”; or “Are you crazy – writing all over your Bible like that?” You’d have thought I’d committed the unpardonable sin!

I guess you could call me a “serial dater”, because every date of every day of every year (for a lot of years) was written down multiple times, by verses that meant a lot to me. Precious promises of God; other favorite verses; notes about marriage, divorce, births, deaths, personal struggles and triumphs were all written down on the flyleaves of my “familiar friend.”

I think there were a few tear stains on some pages of my old Bible. Some of the pages were torn and were starting to fall out; the cover was coming apart, but I fixed that with duct tape. I got a lot of grief from my kids about the duct tape.

I also wrote, in my old Bible some personal symbols that meant different things to me. I wrote !!! with a circle around it; that is pretty self-explanatory. Oh, but my favorite was a triangle with a small dot in the center. This symbolized The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit surrounding me. God gave me this, and it is very special to me. These symbols that God allowed me to write beside His holy scripture enhanced the importance of those words to me. I also used different colored “highlighters” for extra emphasis on some scriptures.

It finally got to the point that I knew it was time to let my old friend go.

I don’t mind telling you that “retiring” my old Bible was a very hard thing to do. I went to the Christian bookstore; looked at several different Bibles; but walked out with a King James Version, Ryrie Study Bible – the same as my “old friend” – minus the dates, symbols, highlights, and other things, of course. It is now March 31, 2008; and my “new friend” has a strong resemblance to my “old friend.”

I remember watching a news show several years ago about the “Lost Boys of Sudan.” The show was about a group of mostly teenage boys that had been forced to leave their homes because of war. They had walked over 1000 miles; with only the clothes on their back, and what small amount they could carry. I think they had reached some sort of refugee camp.

A reporter was talking to one of the young men. That young man was holding a Bible, and the reporter asked why he had carried that Bible with him for over 1000 miles. The young man, grinning from ear to ear, said “Because, it is my life!”

I know what that young man meant…

Larry is a 56 year old beginning writer of spiritually based or themed short stories and articles.

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