Mama's Bible was just as important to her as it was for the Israelites who crossed the desert and carried their cherished relics, and the Holy Ark of the Covenant to the Promised Land.
Mama's weathered and worn Bible sat undisturbed on an antique wooden table in the living room. It never gathered dust like the Bailes brothers sang about in their classic Christian song, “Dust on the Bible”.
The Bible contained the good news of Jesus Christ and his redemptive death on the cross and his resurrection. It also contained page after page of our family history. There were births, deaths, marriages, failures, and accomplishments. It contained snippets of our life written down lovingly by our dear mother.
One page told of perfect attendance for my older sister while in the twelfth grade, and another entry spoke of our family dog who dies suddenly without warning.
There was a milestone met when my parents celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary with a huge cake baked by our grandmother. My mother had drawn a smiley face at the end of the entry.
Untimely deaths were recorded, and birthdays were acknowledged, and were celebrated in our local community center; family and friends joined in the celebration.
Over the years we realized that our family Bible had grown into a living time capsule that we were free to open at any time.
Mama had penciled in tiny bits of forgotten happiness and also sad moments that had been forgotten, reassuring us that faith and time heals all wounds.
Our family Bible served many purposes. My youngest sister had pressed her flowers from her prom date into the thickness of mama's Bible. They had dried and held special memories for her. And anything that was sacred, special, or important to us was held securely between the pages of that Bible.
One of the last entries in mama's Bible was “Where has the time gone?”. And although mama is no longer with us in the flesh, I feel her sweet, caring spirit with us every day.