When I need a Bible, I reach for my husband’s.
It’s leather-bound with his name embossed on the front. His parents gave it to him. Tucked inside is a fabric cross his mom needle-pointed with a few spindly pink irises. Parts of the spine are cracked and peeling off glossy finish, and it has a few dog-eared pages, but it’s a solid Bible, with decades left of wear in it.
In that way, it’s a lot like mine.
My Bible is upstairs. It’s also an NIV translation, also slightly dog-eared and worn, also given to me by my parents, also with precious mementos tucked inside.
Except I open it less and less.
The main difference between the two copies is what’s written inside. In my husband’s Bible, the pages contain only the Scriptures, the text itself, the study notes, the printed material.
Mine, on the other hand, is filled with tiny, anxious handwriting: underlining, sermon notes, exhortations I wrote to myself in college, and underneath it all, a yearning. A terrible, terrible yearning.
Because when I wrote all that marginalia back in college, I thought the effort would transform me. I thought the way I read the Bible would save me. I thought studying Scripture would help me, would purify me, would redeem me. I thought knowing the Bible would fix me. I thought doing all of that well, often, enough would bring me before the throne of grace itself.
And that’s how I read that leather-bound Bible. With a panicked urgency and a harsh discipline, daily, as though I might use each verse to scrape my heart clean.
Why, yes, it’s another guest post today! Wow!
I’m at Cara Strickland’s blog, Little Did She Know, talking about one detail of my life that is a window onto something important. I’m so honored to join this amazing series. Won’t you join me?