. . . . . . . . . .
I shuffled quick steps to our loveseat, bowl of cereal in hand, ready for words to nourish me as I ate. As I do nearly every morning before work, even for just a few minutes. My eyes scanned the coffee table for the book, but today, it was not there. Not under the blanket on the sofa, or on my bedside table, or slipped inside my reusable-grocery- sack-turned-purse. My husband stirred in the dark, his sleepy voice calling, "What's wrong?" as I shuffled about the room.
"I can't find my bible," I murmured.
In that moment, I felt it, the weight of something cherished having vanished. The weight of its irreplaceability.
More than just a bible pulled off a bookstore shelf to lay pristine on my coffee table, this was a gift. A gift from someone cherished, someone who, too, vanished from my life, over four years ago. The navy leather, soft and smooth like a glove that fits my hand perfect, thinning now around the edges. My name, embossed in silver script on the cover, a dove beside diving downward.
But inside, a legacy.
My Papa's perfect lefty penmanship, a remnant of him, stored in this treasure chest of story:
To our precious daughter
on our very first [smiley face]
Christmas (2006) together in Seattle
as we begin a new season of memories together.
We are so happy to be up here with you and
having the privilege of being
alongside of our special Amber
to both enjoy ministry and friendship
is a very very great source of joy to us!
With all our love always,
Mom & Dad
My Papa, who passed on unexpectedly, a year and half later. I could get another bible, yes; but I could never get his words back in strokes of love across crinkled paper. I could never get back the record of my last six years, penned along the margins throughout this epic love story that is the gospel - Genesis to Revelation.
I left for work, thinking on this all day, praying, Please, don't let it be lost.
Later that night, we cleared a pile of things off the kitchen table, and there it lay, waiting to be found. I squealed like a child, reached out my hands for it, swept my cheek across its cool smooth, pulled it against my chest and whispered thanks, for all the gifts contained in here.
For the preservation of my Papa's words, his handwriting, his love,
in this greatest story ever told.
For the wonder of holding in my hands another Papa's cherished
words and handwriting and love,
written across history and also upon my heart, in the life of his Son,
a story still unfolding.
For the love of my Mom, still alive,
who becomes more cherished with the wearing of pages.
For the reminders of God with me, in the margins.