Last night, I was out and about doing a few last minute errands before the weekend, and I stopped into a local used bookstore to peruse for a few minutes. Honestly, I was looking for a copy of a Harry Potter book, (which they didn’t have, oh well!)
While there, I asked the kind, older woman at the register to point me toward the “religious” books. After arriving at the spot, she indicated the shelves, and explained how they are organized. Her next statement blew me away. “These two shelves are mainly Bibles and devotionals, right here, if that’s what you’re looking for.”
I thanked her, and as she walked away, I stood in awe looking at these fairly plain, wooden shelves, full of the Word of Life. What a simple thing. A shelf full of Bibles. She said it with such a lack of regard that it took me off guard.
It wasn’t her tone. It was the image of those two shelves of Bibles, waiting to be opened.
And I stood in front of those simple shelves letting the tears fall, I thought of every single Swazi who would give ANYTHING to have a Bible in their native tongue. I thought about every time I’ve gotten the opportunity to give a Bible to one of them. Their joy at receiving that small black book, written in Siswati.
I thought about my lack of regard for the Word.
Isn’t that how I treat my own Bible at home? It sits on a shelf, gathering dust, waiting to be opened. How is it we have box after box of God’s Word in our country, and those who hunger for it most have no access to it? Knowing that, how can I still treat it with such disregard?
The real answer is I’m broken, and in desperate need of that Word, and yet I still rely on my own.
It won’t change overnight, my reliance on my own heart and my own head, but I do see God perusing those things in me. Asking me to let him speak into the areas where I don’t think I need Him. To value his Word like the treasure it is. To engage with Him, and to respect His Word.
After all, didn’t God give us the Word incarnate? The Word is at the very fabric of who God is. And we treat it like a commodity that we’re entitled to own. It’s a gift. It’s all just one giant gift.
Let’s start treating it like the gift it is.