Mom's Old KJV
By Jerry B. Jenkins
Late one night several years ago, I took a good look at my mother’s King James Bible. The crumbling cover and dog-eared pages brought back memories of bedtime prayers. I thought of Mom when she was Mommy.
An inscription from Dad dated the Bible from before my birth. Mom’s maiden name, Bonita G. Thompson, was barely readable on the cover.
Two references were penned onto the dirty first page. One – John 3:5 – was unmistakably written by my oldest brother, Jim. The backward scrawl reminded me of the years when the old Bible was passed around, carried to church, and claimed as “mine” by three different boys. Mom didn’t often get to carry the Bible herself while we were growing up, but we frequently found her reading it at home when we came in from paper routes or baseball games.
On another page is an inscription from Dad. “To Bonnie, in loving remembrance of October 21, 1942 – Your devoted Red. Matthew 19:6.” He had been nearly 19, she 16, when they were engaged. World War II and his 32 months in the Pacific delayed their marriage until December, 1945.
Scanning the pages, I noted several of Mom’s markings, countless underlinings of promises and passages that look to heaven. The penciled markings had faded, and the inked jottings had bled through to other pages. But the evidence remained of well-listened-to sermons and cherished hours alone in the Word.
On the final page, she wrote “Psalm 37:4,” referring to the verse, “Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
That last inscription is framed by the doodling of youthful hands. One of the desires of Mom’s heart was that her little boys would grow up and do something more profitable with those once-small hands.
Mom’s first desire, she often told us, was that her four sons would make decisions to trust Christ. We have all done that.
Mom seemed to always delight herself in the Lord, a continual encouragement to do something constructive with the hands that scribbled in her Bible so many years ago.
Mom’s old Bible reminds me of her hands – hands that held, spanked, mended, and wiped tears; hands that produced a magic knot in the shoelaces on my three-year-old feet.
Mom’s hands turned the pages of her old Bible for me until I learned to read it myself. Eventually she turned them for her grand-children and great-grandchildren, passing along her love for the Word to yet another generation.
Today Mom delights herself in the very presence of her Lord, and her old Bible has become another evidence of her legacy of faith.
Copyright Jerry B. Jenkins, 2011
Jerry B. Jenkins, former editor of Moody Magazine, vice president for publishing, and now chairman of the board of trustees for the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, is the author of more than 175 books, including the 70,000,000-selling Left Behind series. Jerry has been awarded honorary doctorates from Bethel College (Indiana), Trinity International University (Illinois), Colorado Christian University, and Huntington University (Indiana). Visit his Website: www.jerryjenkins.com
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