Saturday, July 6, 2013

Within the pages

I sat down in the floor where The Bibles were all spread out in a large display. A neighbor dropped The Books off hoping we could find them a good home after running across them as they were out shopping for antiques. They couldn't dare sell them knowing the importance of the content so I sat down on the rug, and my hand reached out for the one which looked most interesting.

In my palm, I held history. I could feel the treated leather which bound the pages and my fingers gently ran down the worn spine of The Book which read Holy Bible References with no words on the front or back of this Book. The golden edges of the pages were faded and only a hint of color was left near the binding. I was careful not to move the ribbon bookmark still oddly bright red after all these years. I placed my fingers near the marker and gently opened The Book. It was the end of Colossians and the beginning of Thessalonians, and the first verse at the top of the page read, "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."

The pages had tanned over the years and words were underlined with green ink and the date 11-25-81 was marked on the page, also in green ink. Verses were grouped in parentheses in blue ink pen with the date 12-11-96 also scripted on the page with the same blue ink. I knew this person had read these pages more than once in a fifteen year span. The aged pages smelled reminiscent of a forest, pine or cedar maybe and I flipped through more pages of history.

I could tell the reader of The Bible had just begun to show age as well during ownership of this Book. Several pages in the front marked births, marriages, and deaths of generations surrounding her. I saw her name, her husband's name, the date of his death and their children's names. I knew right then, I was holding The Bible, of a Godly women, who was now with her Heavenly Father.

As I flipped through a second Bible, with larger print than the first, her name printed on the cover of this ragged edged Bible, I knew this one had to follow the first one I held. There was less family history noted in the front of this one and the handwriting looked more concentrated, older, and had the look of a quaking hand that was no longer steady. I opened The Book to a page that had been marked with two (now dried) four leaf clovers. I smiled and placed them carefully back down, right where she too had smiled and once placed them.

I looked through all of these books and I knew exactly why the neighbors couldn't (or wouldn't) sell them. Though many were in excellent condition and probably were gifts to her from family or friends, she reached for the same ones over and over, year after year. There's more for me to see within the pages. She has something more to say, more to teach though she's been long gone from this earth I'm sure. She could never write down the date of her death in that Bible, along with the rest of her family and in a way, she's living on. She's been a Blessing to me already and she could have never known she would be...but HE knew all along! Thank you for the Treasures!

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