When I was in high school my parents gave it to me as a gift. I didn’t love it at first because the cover was pink. But there it was, my name inscribed on the front.
If I look really hard I can still make out the name, see that little girl. It’s held together by tape, the table of contents has been ripped out. An old rose petal, a smudge of chocolate pudding and tears stain the pages. There are passages highlighted and underlined, notes and squiggly brackets in the margins, little cards from flowers. When I left home and went to Ethiopia at age twenty the one thing I carried was my Bible. I held on as if it were my life, all I had, and I asked God everyday to speak to my heart through the words on the page. It was my pillow on a flea-infested cot in a tiny, dark room. When I shook with fever from typhus I recited the psalms I’d memorized. When I met a blue-eyed West Point boy at a conference, I had a hunch he was special… he scribbled his email address on a slip of paper, and I stuck it in Isaiah 6. It was on the night table when I pushed Rhema, spoken word, into the world. It’s been everywhere I’ve been for twenty plus years. But these past many years it’s just been there, picked up and flipped through every once in a while, my go-to no longer. Somewhere along the way I let the disappointment and grief harden me. I let go of my hunger, my desperation for the Spirit and Life Word. Tonight I found it and wept and poured over it and searched for truth and everything I thought I lost. Grateful for the comfort of a longtime friend.
“Oh let the ancient words impart…”