While J reads all my posts before they go up, mostly for grammar, but also for her input which I crave, she usually doesn’t write here. Today she has something to say which doesn’t really fit on her blog Beyond Donnybrook. Enjoy!
It is traditional in the Christian Reformed Church to present a newly married couple with a Bible. It’s more of a symbol than anything else, after all, these (usually) young adults more than likely already have more than one bible in their possession. But there’s something special about this first gift. It represents a faith passed down from generation to generation. It represents the hope that this new family unit will be grounded in a faith holding them together through both the good times and the not so good times. It reminds everyone that this new marriage is not just about two people, but about a God who is in every part of our lives. It also gives a strong sense of community, this is not a gift from an individual but from the entire church; a community in which at least one of the main characters grew up in, a community which cares about these people and really wants to see this new marriage thrive.
In recent years, Ken has often been asked to present the “wedding bible”. He’s been honoured to do so and has done it willingly. For many of the young couples, Ken has been their youth leader and catechism teacher; it fits that he would be asked. However, I’ve felt slightly uncomfortable with it. Not because he can’t talk in public, not because I thought the entire presentation was a bit silly (quite the opposite). It’s because we lost ours.
We lost ours!!!
How does one lose their wedding bible!? For years it lived on top of fridge; used for family devotions after meal time. Occasionally it would be used for some bible study or other, but it always came back to its home. One day, I noticed it was gone. I’m not exactly sure when it happened. Meal time family devotions didn’t happen after the kids got older and started moving out and the wedding bible didn’t get used every day.
We’ve got other bibles–I’ve never counted them all, but there’s multiple versions and duplicates. In recent years we’ve added electronic versions. We didn’t need that particular book. But it bugged me. I searched everywhere. I’ve checked every pew bible in the sanctuary at church. I’ve searched every closet in the church building. I’ve asked friends to check their house. One of us must have taken it with us and left it somewhere, but it was no where to be found and I gave up.
I do not know why I looked at this particular shelf one day last week. Why did I shove aside a pile of children’s books and comics? Why did I look at the row of discarded text books? I have little interest in the “structure of meat animals” or the “breeding and improvement of farm animals” or even “animal reproduction”. At one time, these books were important, I spent hours with them; now, they are simply sitting there, waiting for me to have the courage to toss them. But on this day, I did move some books around and I did look at the back of the shelf. There it was!
Nine years ago we moved. There was only one book to pack in the kitchen but many to pack up in the “play” room. Obviously, our wedding bible got packed with the old textbooks and in the flurry of unpacking it got shoved onto a shelf to be completely forgotten. The devotion book stuck in the bible is from February of 2005, about the time I started packing and purging for our move off the farm.
Looking at the book now, it’s nothing special. Just a little bit larger than a pew bible and showing signs of wear. The inscription inside makes me angry. No one, absolutely no one, ever calls me Mrs Ken deBoer!!! There’s no place to record family history, this will not become a family heirloom.
But I’m happy to have found it back!