As I've been going throughn my Bible collection recently, trying to weed out a few that I don't need or use, I got thinking, what is my favorite Bible? Not necessarily my favorite translation...currently, that tends to be the HCSB. No, I was thinking more in terms of which Bible in my collection have I used the most, marked in the most. Which Bible has been my "go-to" Bible for the longest time? Which one shows the most "wear and tear"? I think for that, there's no contest: a paperback HarperCollins Study Bible (NRSV) that I purchased from a used bookstore in Normal, IL, probably about fourteen years ago. The picture above shows a couple pages from the Psalms in that particular Bible. (Don't ask me exactly what all the different colors of highlighting mean; I once has some sort of system, but it's long forgotten.) Funny thing is, I have a nice hardcover edition of the same Bible, into which I meant to transfer some of the markings, but never got around to it. This old paperback has been marked in, taped up, carried around in a couple different sturdy carrying cases. It's tattered and torn, battered and bruise; in that regard, I think it's kind of a metaphor for my faith. Like my faith, it's taken some knocks in the past, it's been hidden away, and yet, I always seem to come back to it.
On a different page of the Psalms from the one pictured above, you can find some colored pencil underlining of Psalm 139:7-10, a passage which reads:
7 Where can I go from your spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, 10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast.
Tattered and torn, bloodied but unbowed
I suppose I could add something like, "If I try to hide your Word away, it keeps coming back to me." Does this old Bible keep finding me, or do I keep finding it? I'm not sure the distinction is that important. Pursued or pursuer, the result is still the same. The Word speaks, and eventually...I listen.