My neo-hippie pierced and tatooed friend is going through a minor dilemma: She’s having to change Bibles after a decade or so. The dilemma is found in the fact that much of her growing up is tied to this book. She went through trials of dating, major techtonic-plate life shifts, college debates, personal wrestling matches with God, etc., with this book.
I went through something similar with my old baseball glove. I know, it’s a guy thing. Anyway, this glove had been a part of my life, from winning and losing important games to being on my hand all afternoon while I threw tennis balls up against the house for hours after my dad died, to my friends having to move it over when they got in the back seat on high school joy rides, to fraternity softball, to playing catch for the first time with my daughter. It was MY glove and we’d been through a lot together. Then, I misplaced it after playing catch with my daughter. I had to get a new one.
So, I completely understand the attachments people have to some of their things. We actually bond with them.
I had a Bible that I went through the first 10 years of ministry with. Seminary and sermon notes were it. The “plan of salvation” meticulously written out on the inside cover so I’d make sure not to forget it at crucial moments. Some of the back pages were messed up because a little girl with crayons sat next to me in church and drew on them while we stood to sing. Highlighted verses you knew you’d use in discussions with teenagers…I bonded with it, too.
Then one day an elderly gentleman in my Sunday School class at my old church overheard me telling someone what my idea of the user-friendly Bible was. He happened to have seen one very similar at a bookstore earlier that week and he surprised me by purchasing it and presenting it to me (including a very cool Irish blessing he wrote on the inside front). I was touched by his gesture and it was indeed what I was looking for, so I reluctantly made the switch.
Now, after 5 years, I’ve bonded with this new Bible. It has my trademark blue pen (black is simply too morbid a color for such a joyful book) notes in the wide margins, the small tear in the binding from being carried in the backpack everywhere, the really cool book charts at the end of each chapter and way better introductory notes and maps than the other one. I plan on leaving it to my girls when I die.
So, just like my new glove has already won a softball championship and had my daughters see their dad play for the first time and now serves as a serious teaching tool for a daughter who can play the game pretty well herself, the new Bible has it’s own stuff working, too. And, it is cool to see one of my teenagers who forgot their Bible at Bible study using the old one (and picking up the maps after they fell out when he pulled it off the shelf).
So, Kristen, to help ease your transition, remember that this new one will have “Rudd” on it (and the inherent memories of years 2003–2052 or so you’ll have together), and will probably have a page or two with dog-ear rips from baby fingers getting to it as you slow due to age (ha!), and will sit on your lap during late night readings (in which you will redefine “living and active” when you see verses you read to Judah as a child become realities in her life), and you’ll still wrestle with God and man with it…but it will wind up being uniquely you. Maybe Judah can have your “old” one…so keep it close.