A few years ago, my mother came for a visit. Whenever she comes, we always make a trip to the local Bible book store. She likes the Gaither music books. During this visit, she found a Bible she really liked. It was one of those cool designed thin lines. She really loved that Bible.
My mother and step-dad go to a little country church in South Carolina. If you have ever been in a country Baptist church, you have seen this one. They are a tight little community of believers who truly activate the idea of prayer. One Sunday, she and Charlie, her husband, went to Sunday school as they had many times before. One of the younger members commented on how much he liked her Bible. Mom said she sat there the entire time thinking about whether or not she should give him the Bible. Right before the end of class, mom felt a voice in her heart telling her to give him the Bible. So, after class, she walked up to him and said, “Here, Mike, take the Bible. I want to give it to you.” She said his eyes welled up with tears. “Really?” “Of course,” said she as she handed him the Bible. Mike didn’t have a melt down, but she said she could tell he was really touched by the gesture.
The next week at Sunday school, he asked her to write her name in the front of the Bible. She wrote, “To: Mike, From: Charlie and Patsy”. Then he began to tell her something she did not know. With tears welling up in his eyes again, he said, “Patsy, I don’t think you know this, but I can’t read, but I have decided to let my girls read to me from this Bible every night.” My mom told him it was a great idea and that most parents do not read the Bible with their children at all. They would be making a great memory together.
Every Sunday after that, as they were filing into church, he would catch mom’s eye and hold up his Bible. Mom told me this story, and I was touched to the point of tears.
Earlier this week, she told me of a man in their church who had been in a motorcycle accident, and she asked me to pray for him. He had 3 little girls at home. Tonight, she told me that he died. She also told me that this man was Mike. Mike. The same man who she gave the Bible to a few years ago.
My mother has always been someone who gives to those who are hurting, and this time is not unlike others, but much different at the same time. Mom and Charlie took food over to Mike’s mother. As soon as mom got there, Mike’s mother immediately began to talk about the Bible. She said, “If you had given him a million dollars, it wouldn’t have meant as much to him as that Bible did. He cherished it.” She went on to say, “I want you to know I now have that Bible, and I will cherish it the rest of my life”.
It made me wonder. While the printers were printing off the pages of that Bible, did they know how much it would mean to someone? While the binders were watching the Bible go down the line, or while the shipping department was handling the Bible and packing it up for delivery, did they know what new story of God’s love and gifts would be told through this Bible? I certainly didn’t know when we purchased the Bible. I don’t believe my mother knew it either. It just goes to show that the contents of what is written in the Bible isn’t bound by bonded leather. These truths live, breathe, and move without words. Does someone need to be an educated theologian to enjoy God’s blessings? Can someone who does not know how to read the written word be touched by God? Should we be more aware of God’s word that is written on our hearts?
No one knows but God the nature of Mike’s heart. But, I will say this, my mom certainly experienced something supernatural with one simple gesture towards this man. Legacies of Christ did not stop with His written word…these works continue through us. I hope we can all be authors of God’s word by listening to His still small voice and going ahead and doing the strange in order to become a part of something strangely amazing.