Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Treasure

   I have in my possession a precious gift from my Daddy's mother, whom I lovingly called Mama Julia. It is a dog-eared once white leather King James Bible with my name embossed in faded gold on the front. In addition to the words of Christ which appear in red letters, this Bible is filled with beautifully colored illustrations. There is a letter in the back that my grandmother wrote to me when she gave me the Bible on my fourth birthday. In it she tells me that I should get my parents to read to me from this very special book, but when I grow old enough, I should read the stories for myself. And she closes with these words: "I pray that before too long, you will come to know your Savior, Jesus Christ." At some point I scribbled in crayon on this page and on a few others as well. The cover of the Bible is worn and even torn in a few places and when you hold the book it seems to fall open to a few of the well-handled and thumbed illustrations. As a child I even remember repeatedly kissing a picture of Jesus -- one where He was surrounded by children from all over the  world. I wanted to be the little girl who was leaning up against Him just so. I am especially thankful that this particular Bible is as familiar to me as the topography of my own hand. It even has a smell that evokes the memory of times long past. I am also grateful that my Momma and Daddy did not keep the Bible tucked out of sight or put up out of harm's way. Obviously, they let me carry it around, read to me from its pages, and encouraged me to take its words to heart.
     We moved around alot as children, and I did not accumulate a lot of possessions from my childhood (I have compensated for this fact with an abundance of memories!) Among those I saved are a ragged and lifeless stuffed Humpty Dumpty, a handwoven wicker baby basket, one Madame Alexander ballerina doll, a musical jewelry box (the kind with the spinning ballerina inside), and my little Bible. These things all carry special memories but none except the Bible ranks up there as a bona fide treasure. 
     In Psalm 145 it says, "One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts." And Psalm 22 tells us, "Posterity will serve Him, future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn -- for He has done it." This particular verse of the scriptures is one I prayed over each of my own children before they were born: the proclamation of his righteousness to a people yet unborn. I felt keenly the need for this because I understand that I have been the beneficiary of such a marvelous grace. I was taught and told about His goodness and His mercy from an early age. I learned of His love and His faithfulness from my own Momma and my Daddy, from Daddy Dewey and Mama Julia, from Lou Lou and Daddy Dykes and from countless others who reflected His love and faithfulness into my life. I seldom can remember a time when I was not aware of Him and of His love for me. Unfortunately, this fact does not mean that I always heeded His call or listened to Him as He called to me. Sad to say, I am the prodigal who ran away, yet I am blessed that like the father in Luke's parable, the Father lovingly welcomed me home.
    I did not mean for this post to be about me; I wanted it to be about the treasure. The treasure described  in a little white book. A treasure that rightfully shakes the whole world to its core and changes the course of men's lives. It is a treasure that has the power to set a captive free or to heal the deepest and darkest diseases of the soul. I so want Little One to know this treasure. It is one of the things I pray for her each and every day. Some days I would probably rather pray for her happiness and for her to have a life without loss or pain, but this is not likely to happen. So instead I call upon the One who is faithful, and I simply remind Him of His very own words: "The promise of salvation is for you and your children and for all who are far off -- for all whom the Lord our God will call." I am trusting that He will call this precious one quickly and while she is still young. It is the cry of this grandmother's heart.

1 comment :

  1. It would be quite ideal if you could have a little box that pops out kleenex for your visitor's convenience. I'm learning to visit here when I can savor the treasure box of words you fill for us that evoke such emotion. Your writing is truly a gift.


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