My Books

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Bibles I Lost

Bibles given in childhood cultivate a love of God's Word from an early age. They help foster a softness of heart that causes a child to cherish their Bibles into adulthood. When a child has their very own Bible, it helps them own their faith, rather than thinking of it as an extension of their parents'.

I remember my first Bible. I was only a preschooler when my parents gave it to me and I couldn't read a word of it. But I knew how important this book was to my mommy and daddy, so I treated it with great care and love. Back then, there weren't cute kids' Bibles with colorful covers and easy words. No, mine had a sensible black cover with gold letters that said Holy Bible. Its small size fit nicely in my small hands. The King James Version was about all there was then, and I couldn't have loved it more. It was basically a mini-version of my parents' Bibles and I felt very grown up carrying it to and from church.

That is, until I lost it.

I got home and realized I didn't have my Bible. My parents, seeing my distress, were kind enough to retrace the route we'd taken to church in our small town. We saw something on the side of the road and my dad pulled over and parked a short distance away. I ran to the place we'd seen it and there it was, lying in a puddle. I picked it up as tenderly as one would a wounded animal. I tried to smooth its wet pages. Then came the tears. It was the first time I'd cried over a book. But this wasn't just a book. It was God's Word, and I'd wrecked it.

I don't remember if I continued to use that Bible the next few years or if I used another that my parents had on the bookshelf. But I remember the next Bible I was given.

It was my tenth birthday and we were in the car moving from Illinois to Arizona. I opened my presents in the backseat. I don't remember any of them except my new Bible. It was a grown-up version complete with thumb-tabs to help me find the various books. I loved that black, leather-bound Bible. I used it almost a decade and had it even longer than that. But somewhere along the way it got lost. I'm guessing it was probably during a move. I wish I still had it.

My grandparents had a tradition of giving their grandchildren a new Bible when they graduated from high school and I was no exception. Mine had a brown leather cover with my name engraved in gold on the lower right corner. I'd seen my older brother and sister get theirs and I eagerly anticipated receiving mine. That Bible was well used, as I'm sure Grandpa and Grandma hoped it would be. It saw me through marriage, the birth of my first two children, divorce, and several years of single parenting. It encouraged me and guided my days as I learned to live as a Christian adult.

One Sunday, I went to a different church with a friend. It was a huge church, much larger than I usually attended. I got up to leave at the end of the service and forgot my Bible on the pew. I remembered it before I even reached the parking lot, and turned back to get it, but it was gone. I sought help in finding it and was directed to the office lost and found. It hadn't been turned in. I was heartsick. I went back a week later and it still hadn't been returned. To this day I don't know what happened to it.

For the first time ever, I had to buy a Bible. I looked in the bookstore and found the version I wanted with just the right size print. I still think about all those old Bibles and how they got me started on the path of my spiritual journey and an intimate relationship with Jesus. When you give someone a Bible, you never know how it will impact their life. But with prayer, it just might make the difference between eternal life and death.

What is the most special Bible you've had? Tell us about it in the comments.



  1. Love this post. I've lost Bible, too. We should cherish them but so much more our faith. Great post to get my thinking. Thanks!

  2. Thanks, Holly. You make a very important point. Thanks for posting.