At our house, we’ve been intrigued with an unusual object at the center of Jim’s attention the last couple days. When he walked in the door last Monday holding IT in his hands, I gasped and quietly said, “You’re carrying a Bible.”
It was a pretty two-toned brown leather Bible that looked well cared for and obviously well read. Did he win it at an auction to raise money for the Columbus Food Kitchen? He was supposed to come home with some cookbooks from that? No. He had the cookbooks in his backpack. What was the meaning of this Bible he very gently handed me with a funny look in his eyes?
Not my born-again pagan! I’m the Bible person in the house. He is sometimes surprised when I explain an unusual Bible story, or he holds disbelief when I tell him that many of today’s news events have already been foretold in the last chapters of the Bible.
“A lady left it on the bus. She reads it every day and today she left it on the bus. I tried to give it to the bus driver, but he didn’t want it. He said if it went to lost and found, she would have to go downtown to get it and she might never get it back.”
Jim was astonished that there was no name in the book that seemed to mean so much to the woman. He kept saying to himself, and me “There’s no name in it. Why wouldn’t someone write their name in their Bible?” I explained that many people feel like it’s sacrilegious to write inside the Bible.
Not only did Jim bring it home, but he cared for it with such tender loving care, you would think we had a newborn baby in the house. (No pun intended.) He wouldn’t put it in his backpack for fear of damaging it. He removed it from the kitchen table so we wouldn’t get food on it. He placed it on the “key table” next to the front door so he wouldn’t forget it when he left in the morning blurry-eyed and sleepy.
But Tuesday night he came home exclaiming, “The born-again pagan still has the Bible!
The lady wasn’t on his bus coming or going. He said he had seen her several times before so he felt sure she rode the bus on a regular basis, but no one had seen her that day. The bus driver still didn’t offer to take the lost Bible. So Jim once again carefully protected the lost book from the rain as he walked to and from work, and he once again carefully placed it on the “key table” before he went to bed.
I could tell he was slightly worried that he might be responsible for the Holy Book longer than he was comfortable with. But, he took this unexpected and highly unusual responsibility with the highest honor.
As he boarded the bus this morning, he approached the bus driver about the lost book that was getting heaver by the day.
“I still have this Bible. I haven’t seen the lady who left it here. What should I do with it.”?
Immediately the lost Bible (or lost owner) became a point of interest for all the morning passengers today.
“She sometimes rides the 6 a.m. morning bus. I’ve seen her on the early bus,” offered one Good Samaritan.
“She catches the earlier afternoon bus too. I’ve ridden with her on the 4:45 bus,” offered another.
“I always see her on the 4:45 bus. Give it to me and I’ll give it to her,” proposed another passenger also named James.
“Well, it must have been in the cards that two James’s would be involved in returning her Bible,” said my James as he guardedly handed the precious burden off to James #2.
My Jim sat in his seat feeling a little empty handed and hoping that he had done the right thing to relinquish the task that had been first put on his shoulders.
Suddenly, someone yelled, “There she is! There’s Miriam. The lady who lost her Bible!”
As the bus pulled up to the stop where no one had ever seen Miriam get on before, she bounced up the steps with a smile.
“I thought I’d catch you here. I was late and missed my regular stop so I hoped I wouldn’t miss you here.”
“We have something for you” replied the bus driver with a gleam in his eyes. We have your Bible.”
“Oh! My Bible! My Bible! You found my Bible!”
James # 2 placed it in her outstretched arms as she sat down beside him exclaiming how she had been worried about it and feeling so sad because she lost it.
My James watched on in silence as she caressed her Holy Bible and held it close to her heart. It was okay with him if someone else took the ‘glory’. He was pleased to see Miriam so happy and to see the joyous smile on her face.
“…But I can’t take all the credit”, said James # 2.
“Actually, this man found your Bible and has been taking care of it for you” he admitted as he turned and pointed to James #1.
After another flurry and thank-yous and gratitude, Jim watched as Miriam opened her rescued Bible and pulled out a little picture card tucked inside. It was the picture of a guardian angel watching over two children on a bridge.
“Oh look. There’s a pretty angel picture that wasn’t in here before. And, here’s another one….”
My Jim just smiled. Funny how angels get their work accomplished.
Take Care on the Journey,