June 2, 2011

Notes in the Margins

My son was SO upset.  His Sunday School teacher has said something to him that he just could not believe and he didn't know whether to be angry or cry.

Seriously, it was that bad.

What did his Sunday School teacher say to him that could upset him so badly?

She told him to (*gasp*) ...write in his bible.

Yes, you read that correctly.  It was the week of Easter and they were talking about a very important part of scripture regarding the resurrection.  His teacher encouraged him to underline the verse of scripture in his bible so that he could find it easily next time he was looking for it.  But Colin wasn't buying it.  "Mom, can you believe she told me to do that?", he said with his big blue wide open in disbelief.

A thousand dollars for a picture of his face when I told him that I write in my bible all. the. time.  He was aghast.  First his Sunday School teacher and then his mother?!?  What was this world coming to?

But what a wonderful opportunity for me to open my bible and share with Colin exactly why it is not just good, but great, to write in our bibles.  I showed him where I had highlighted verses that encouraged me in times of sorrow or despair.  I showed him how I circled portions of scripture that had spoken words of truth  - or even conviction - to me.  I showed him where I had circled and double underlined God's unfailing promises. I showed him where I had written notes and dates in the margins of my pages.  Notes that will help me to remember the things that God has spoken to my heart:  sometimes words of revelation, sometimes words of comfort, sometimes words of rebuke.  But, always, always words worth remembering.

Someday I will pass from this world and it would make me so happy to have my children page through my bible and see everything that God's word meant to me.  The promises, the exhortations, all the praises of thanksgiving...

But way before that, today, I want my children to see my bible with the pages open and marked up and even tattered and torn.  I want them to see and understand how important God's word is to me.  I want them to see and understand that God's word is LIFE.

Our former neighbor, Pastor Al, whom I talked about here, once told us that there was nothing sadder in the hands of a 'Christian' than a bible that looked all shiny and new.  Our bibles should look used and worn - like a well loved teddy bear.  Yes, it may be frayed upon the edges and there may be a few tabs missing but you will never regret the benefits, to you and your family, of a well-read and well-loved bible.

I am happy to report that Colin now understands.  His trust and affection have been fully restored towards his wonderful Sunday School teacher.  And I look forward to someday thumbing through the pages of his bible and reading the notes in his margins.  To get a glimpse into how and what God speaks to him through his Holy word will be truly priceless.  God, just as he has for all of us, has great plans for this child of ours.  Yes, he has a little extra 'flair' and what God will use it for I have no idea but I know it will be amazing.


Do you write in your bible?  What are the things that mean the most to you about God's word?

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