Yesterday, after attending church at Fellowship North in Knoxville with Debby, Lauren, Lily, and Baby Bear (due in January), I gave Lily a ride out to the car on what we call “the Bible chair”. After lunch at Cracker Barrel and back home unloading the car – No Bible! No where to be found after turning the car upside down. Then …… I remembered …. putting the Bible on top of the car while buckling Lily in. Big mistake! A heart sinking feeling of fear and despair – to the point of numbness. What would I do without my Bible? Would I ever see it again? How would I begin to find it?
Many times, I’ve said that there’s only one material possession in this world that I really treasure – my Bible. The one I’ve been using for over 25 years. The Bible that is chock-full of notes, underlines, starred verses, “G’s” for gems, and “A’s” for actions. The one with dates written in the margins for special moments of worship. The Bible whose front and back covers are filled with the great questions of the Bible, commitments I have made, key scriptures about marriage, parenting, children, sons, friends, work, and getting old, and favorite scriptures of blessings, prayers and songs. The Bible with special markings for the passages where I say, “that will preach”. You get it, this Bible is a Priceless Treasure. It is not “A” Bible, it is “MY” Bible. Much of my life is recorded and noted here. I am who I am in large part because of the shaping I have received from moments spent with this Bible.
Inside the condo and checking my text messages, I found this – “Hi! I found your Bible on the side of the road”. Relief, joy, praise, thanksgiving swept over me. My Good Samaritan, a young lady on her way home from another church rescued my Bible. It turns out that my Bible was found more than a mile from Fellowship North. Arrangements were made to meet up and retrieve my Bible. Debby and I put together a gift, a reward and a couple of notes as a small expression of our appreciation to this kind young woman. We wondered how this series of events – the loss, the rescue, the find, the return, the relationship might play out in God’s kingdom.
So, with my treasured Bible back where it belongs – I’m touched and moved. I’m overwhelmed with the sudden feeling of loss, the joy of the return, the thoughtfulness and kindness of a young Christian lady and the amazing journey My Bible took on this October Sunday. I’m still pondering the lessons (other than don’t put things on top of the car) and the blessings. As the woman in Luke 15 said when she found her lost coin – “Rejoice with me!”
Russell Justice, October 2019
P.S. My journal was found in the church parking lot and returned this morning