I have several Bibles, but there is one that is my favorite. I call it “Big Red.” I purchased it as a special edition they had available at church after I attended a “Walk thru the Prophets” seminar back in 1980. When I first got it, I had just re-committed my life to Christ and so I clung to it as a life preserver, devouring its pages. I thought it was the most beautiful Bible I had ever seen. The gilding on the side had a magical sheen to it and I loved the way it looked as the lamplight hit it. I drank it in like the bread of life that it is.
It has many pages of notes taken from many different sermons, Bible studies, and thoughts of my own thrown in. I can page through them and see a bit of my personal history, and it warms me to see all that God has done through the years. I see the year our choir performed Handel’s Messiah and my brother gave his life to the Lord, gallantly striding up the aisle in his white shirt, a grown man looking purposeful and humble all at the same time. Thoughts I wrote that same morning sitting out in my parent’s yard on Easter, just before the sun came up. I can still feel the peaceful beauty of that morning like a cloak wrapped around me.
I see a bit of my church history also, which is rather colorful. There are notes from churches I attended in my hometown of Lodi California, Sacramento, Woodbridge, and Chandler and Mesa, Arizona.
It started out Burgundy red leather, and rather stiff, but now it is faded and supple. I had to glue the spine back together awhile back, and time has dulled the luster of gold from the edges. The words within, however, burn brighter than ever. They have not faded, but only become more brilliant with time.
There were also seasons in my life when it collected dust, I thought my own wisdom was better.
There are yellow highlights all the way through it, although much more in some places than others, and there are places where tears of both sorrow and joy have spilled onto the pages. Everyone who touches it touches a part of me. The words in it have comforted me more times than I can count and it comes along to my “closet” when I pray. It is my faithful companion.
Bibles have always played a special part in many family histories. My Mom has my Grandfather’s German Bible, and I have my Mom’s special one, which used to be mine. Remember “The Way” version that came out in the seventies? My best friend has her Grandmother’s and Grandfather’s and I also have my late husband’s Bible that he got from an old girlfriend!
My Grandmother thought that all Bibles had to be black (or white for Baptism) and she only recognized the King James version.
How about you? Do you have a favorite? What has it meant to you? I would love to hear about it!
“Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105