Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Faith And A Gift From My Family

I have a Bible that I cherish. It was given to my brother Tom by my sister, Sharon. But we never called her Sharon, she is and always will be Sissy.
Anyway, this Bible.........

It has brought me so much comfort, joy, and grief. But I think the greatest gift it has given me is faith. Not just the obvious kind of faith, I mean, it is a Bible after all. The kind of faith I am talking about is the faith in family. Faith that our family will always survive and even thrive at times. I guess to understand what I mean you need to understand a little of the history of this particular Bible.

 Like I said, this Bible was given to my older brother Tom for Christmas in 1959 by my older sister Sissy. Tom was 11 years old at the time.


 Sissy always went to church, faithfully, as long as I can remember. She took all of us to church as often as she could. She was the religious one in the family. Her faith was everything to her. Always has been, always will be.
Tom went to church because he wanted to be with Sissy.
 Later on, when asked about his religious preferences, he would say he was agnostic. After the Vietnam war and his time in the Navy, Tom would say he was an atheist. He did not believe in God, he said. 

Tom died in 1985 when he was 37 years old. I thought the Bible was lost. When our Mom died in 2004, I found Tom's Bible with her belongings. It was carefully, individually, wrapped up with some other things of Tom's that Mom had packed up when Tom died. When I gave it back to Sissy, she told me that she wanted me to have it. I have treasured it ever since.

I also read from it almost everyday. I have another book that gives me suggestions on a daily basis for scripture to read. I follow those daily suggestions and find that I learn so much about the Bible and about myself whenever I pick up Tom's Bible.

Today was one of those days when Tom's Bible taught me about having faith in our family. Not only did this particular scripture hit home with me about love and charity (which I really needed to read this morning), it hit home because the scripture was underlined, heavily, like back and forth with a pencil several times.
 Now, that in itself does not mean that much. But to me it means everything. I find marked up scripture at random times in Tom's Bible when I read it. And you can tell it was done over a long period of time, not all at one time by  the different marks of the pencil and sometimes, by a pen. Sometimes, it's just a little pencil mark at the start of the scripture, sometimes just a check mark. But sometimes it is heavily underlined, like it touched my brother so much that he wanted to remember it forever.
 I dare not alter this Bible with my own marks, and today, I felt an overwhelming urge to talk about this Bible. I hope that someday it will mean as much to someone else in our family as it did to Sissy, Tom, and now me.
A great lesson in faith from a simple Bible underlined by an atheist named Tom who sought comfort and guidance in a Bible that his Sissy gave him a long time ago. I am so happy that I get comfort and guidance now from this Bible that has survived and thrives, just like our family.


Sandy Sandmeyer said...

Hi Maggie! Just stopped by from Grapefruit Princess. It's nice to hook up with other Christian sisters.

Post a Comment

Content Copyright Maggie's Garden | Design Copyright Poppiness Designs