Last night I was chatting online with a friend whom I had reconnected with on Facebook after not having any contact for roughly seventeen years. We reconnected last April and it has been fantastic both reminiscing and playing catch up. I don’t know how we got on the subject, but last night she was sharing with me how I had given her a Bible that was the first readable one she ever had. She went on to share how meaningful that Bible had become over the years. I had encouraged her to mark it up and highlight it. She was reluctant, but did and did not regret it. Eventually, the Bible was ruined by water damage from a broken pipe and had to be tossed. She was rather heart sick when it got ruined.
I must have given her that Bible over twenty years ago. I had completely forgotten about it. Several weeks ago another person, roughly from that same time period, told me they still had the Bible I had given them. It was their first Bible. I do remember it distinctly. It prompted me to recall several other Bibles I remembered giving away. I don’t want you to think I was just willy-nilly handing out Bibles all over the place, but God tugged at me around certain people and I responded. The gifts where all unique and usually very intentional. Several of them had extreme personal value. I gave my study Bible to one young man when I moved, filled with many notes and memories. I gave another young man the Bible I received when I was confirmed.
I had no idea of the long term value of those gifts in the moment. I just really loved those kids and wanted them to get into God’s Word. I felt a tug or calling specifically around them.
Now some 20 years later I am realizing how significant a gift like that can be. It’s inspired me to take a look around me and consider who needs a Bible. I am going to put some prayer around that and if I feel led to I will be Bible shopping later this week. I will only do this though if I feel compelled around someone specific. I think part of the power of those earlier gifts is that it wasn’t some kind of program. I wasn’t looking for a notch on my discipling belt. I didn’t have any agenda other than a heart-felt expression of love. This needs to not be contrived, but genuine care and love.
I would encourage you to prayefully consider to whom could you give a Bible. Give one of your own that is meaningful to you or splurge and go out and get a really nice beginning study Bible. You don’t have to go crazy though. One of my most used and treasured Bible’s was a paper back, good news version, New Testament handed to me by a stranger on campus as I rushed to class. I still have it somewhere. At one point it was the only Bible I had left because I had given all my others away. It looks like trash, but I still keep it for some reason. I think it is a reminder to me of one of the most faith transformative periods of my life. That is the amazing thing about giving a Bible…It keeps speaking, teaching, comforting, convicting, consoling, uplifting and a host of other “ings” long after you may be out of the picture.
Go bless someone with a Bible as soon as you get a chance. You just have no idea what it may lead to. Peace from the Practical Disciple.