Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The answers are blowing in the wind!

Last week i had a few extra small friends over to play. The thing with watching my girl friends children is that, well all the kids play sooooo well together, i get MORE time to myself. Isn't that ironic?
So while all the kiddos were splashing about in our puddle pool, i got to sit undisturbed for quite a while reading my bible. Not to worry, i was sitting poolside within an arms reach of all the kids =)
After a nice while, two of the smalls had to take potty breaks. So out of the water with everyone and up to the top of the hill to play. That way i could be sure no one would be tempted back into the water while i was inside for a few minutes.
A quick potty break and back to the fun, when i notice my old, most favorite bible, most of genesis & exodus lose with age, blown apart and throughout three different yards! My stomach in my feet and my heart in my throat - i had no idea which pages to chase after first.
"Children!" I shouted. "My bible! Please help me!" It was all i could think of and of course the wind kept blowing and the kids just stood there, blank faced and starring. "Please! Help me find all the pages!"
"Why is your bible like that?"
"Where should we start?"
"Just get another bible."
All questions and no action. I. am. frantic.
Running - chasing - gulping back tears - grabbing pages - genesis here - exodus there - wait, did Leviticus also blow away?
It wasn't until i started chasing my precious pages around throughout my yard and the neighbors that the children started to help. Reminding them of the mostly invisible boundary lines separating front and back yards, i run for the front as i see the table of contents snagging across the street. Checking to be sure no one was following me, i cross to gather more of genesis from tall meadow grass.
checking books and chapters and verses to see what i have, and what is missing, i hear peter, paul and mary singing in my head ' - the answers, my friend, are blowing in the wind, the answers are blowing in the wind-'
i was reminded of a man (whose name has escaped me) long ago imprisoned for his faith in God, and made to read political propaganda. a lot of time had past for that man and still he clung to God, wondering if he was to rot in prison and be abused for his faith, for the rest of his life. one day he prayed for God to show him if He was real or he would submit to his captors. soon after that prayer the man was cleaning out the latrine and what does he find? pages of the bible, used as toilet paper. the man asks to clean the latrine every day so that he can continue to collect the pages, soiled from the latrine, but precious tokens of love from the God who never left or forsake him. i was reminded of countless men and women who are in countries where the bible is illegal - what would they give to get their hands on just one of these page? i was reminded of a man in India who doesn't even know how to read, let alone even read in english, but has one page of this precious book and kisses it daily.
i hear the little girls voice in my head, "why not just get another bible? i saw two others in your living room," and my heart is shattered? my own selfishness of my need for this bible. would i be willing that these pages might blow to someone who might need them more then i? shattered by all the times i sit and do something other then read my bible - the very answers to all of life's questions, now literally blowing in the wind. how often do i talk about helping others get these very words into their hands and my words fall from my tongue, with hardly any action on my own part.
 all pages brought to me, and children playing at the top of the hill, i sit and start to figuring out what i have and what is still missing. the small girl who asked about "just using another bible" sits next to me.
"you write in your bible?" she asks picking up pages.
i show her my notes in the margins and tell her about the birthday that i received this bible. i tell her how this bible has been with me from the beginning of me walk with the Lord. with me when i lived in my car while traveling. with me while going to school both far away and right here in town. with me countless nights when i fell asleep with it on my chest, some nights sad with grief and some nights happy and full of life, but in all times, it helped me rest in God's pure joy. that yes this bible was very sentimental to me. yes, i loved it more then any other bible i owned.
but yes - she was right. a bible, is a bible.
that really it wasn't the sentimental life experiences i wrote in the margins. or the references on the inside cover that were a quick help in certain times of need, that i should be sad to loose, but that it was The Words of God. any bible, all bibles, should be treasured, but that our relationship with the Lord should be an even greater treasure.
i wondered, do i chase after God the way i chased after His words? do i set aside time to court Him in quiet communion? chase after Him personally?  hmmmm...
she and i sift through genesis, exodus and leviticus finding all the pages. we talk about what a special gift from God i received today in losing my bible, and getting it all back again. if only to remember how important it was to me - to others. that no, my notes in my bible weren't the most important thing, but that the words of the Lord are. while yes, my words in the margins were sort of like a journal of my walk with the Lord. and yes, it is okay to have that and feel attached to this particular bible because of them. we talked about how important the bible was without my notes in the margins. i told her it was a special gift to me to have her help me put God's words back together again and to share my bible with her.
"wasn't it funny that we were chasing genesis?" she asked?
"that we were chasing the answers?" i asked her? we both nod and continue to fill my bible up, with all the pages, in proper order.


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