This morning, my eyes were drawn to an old Bible that used to belong to my Grandpa Ed(die). I pulled it off the shelf and opened it, finding the inscription inside that you see above from March 4, 1959 and it prompted so many questions.
The first one is — why does this look so much like my grandmother’s handwriting? Maybe my grandfather’s sisters didn’t write this. Maybe my grandmother simply wanted my grandfather to remember these truths, so she jotted them down for him, hoping he would stumble across them one day.
The second question is — what was going on the minds of Ruth and Minnie the day they gave this Bible to my grandfather? Clearly, they were thinking about their father, Charles Hugh Warren, who passed away in 1927, but did the anniversary of his death prompt them to think about mortality? More specifically, my grandfather’s mortality?
The epitaph on Charles’ tombstone says: “It was hard indeed to part with thee, But Christ’s strong arm supported me.” I assume his wife, Daisy Belle, was responsible for these words. Maybe Ruth and Minnie were simply trying to remind their brother of his spiritual legacy.
Grandpa Ed was never a Bible-reader, as far as I can remember. He was never a church-goer, either. But near the end of his life, he had a dramatic conversion to Christ — some 25 years after his sisters gave him this Bible. It was so dramatic that he wanted to be buried with his baptismal certificate. Indeed, he was.
The third question is — what’s the story behind the D.L. Moody quote about sin keeping a Bible’s owner from reading it? Did my aunts (or maybe my grandmother) choose that quote hoping it would convince my grandfather to begin reading the Bible? Did they choose it because he used to read it, but had stopped? Or was it just a general warning — one that all of us should heed?
And finally, the fourth question — why did my aunts (or my grandmother) jot down Matthew 6:33 and Psalm 91? They are both foundational scriptures, no doubt. The first one tells us to seek the kingdom of God first, and the second is a declaration of God’s protective hand. Were my aunts hoping my grandfather would look these scriptures up and cause him to turn from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light?
I’ll never know the answers to any of these questions since my aunts and my grandparents have gone on to glory. And I’m okay with not knowing the answers. But, at the same time, the questions are great reminders to me to continue to point people in my life toward the Savior and his Word, much like my relatives did so many years ago.
Lee Warren is a freelance writer and editor who has written twelve non-fiction books, one novella and hundreds of articles for various newspapers and magazines as well as edited more than 50 books that currently appear in print. He's a fan of NASCAR, baseball, tennis, books, movies and coffee shops.
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