How do we have the bible in every language and version (e.g. NIV, NKJV, ESV, NASB, …), study guides, teen/mom/soldier/woman/early reader styles, Comic Bibles…. and still miss the main message?
I didn’t know I owned so many bibles–granted, I’m a self-proclaimed recovering pharisee so I shouldn’t be surprised, but it wasn’t until a friend visited from a country where being Christian is a crime and her daughter longed for a bible, that I really got thinking.
So many stories of people dying or risking their lives to get a bible somewhere it wasn’t allowed. Not to mention what I’ve read about the painstaking work, care and sacrifices people have put in recovering, copying and distributing even the smallest part of a single page. #Humbling.
How many bibles do I have in this house while so many in the world are dying, literally, for just one taste of these words?
So I started looking, and collecting, and the more I looked, the more I found, and the more I found, the more I got mad.
I stacked them all on the table and the tower grew taller than one of my children. And I probably missed a few too. Sheesh.
I looked at the tower with disgust. How many bibles does one family need? Sure, they come as gifts, hand-me downs, replacements for busted ones and I can’t bear to toss the original, or any… bibles for the kids to read, bibles for us to read to the kids, pretty pictures, comic bibles, study bibles…on and on.
But here’s the thing: I don’t even carry one with me anymore since I downloaded a Bible App app on my phone (Blue Letter Bible, I highly recommend if you like digging into original Hebrew & Greek for deeper meaning, not to mention great bookmarking and highlighting options…).
And worst of all: For all our bible knowledge, do we get the point of the Story? Religion with all her oppression tries to tell us otherwise, and our rationale brains have trouble processing simplicity, but the simple truth that our hearts and spirits are dying to hear and know is this: Love.
That word has been so misused who knows what it means anymore (though that Bible definition is pretty Epic). But trust me, in the end,
Love is the thing pointing to God (1 John4:12), not some label like “Christian,” or a jewelry pendant, or a bumpersticker, and certainly not a set of policies that oppress or harm others, even if they claim to be “bible-based.”
And you know what else? My Tower of Bible doesn’t point to God either. My life, my words, my actions, my heart, that’s a possible map for someone, including myself. And the beautiful, humbling thing is You have a map too– in fact, I bet we all carry a piece because we’re all supposed to get It. Get There…
Anyone know what to do with their Tower? Any orgs sending bibles to places where they are rare? Let me know!
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In case you want to dig further:
–A Sad Example of People Choosing Law over Love: Ezra and the Broken Families
*I use He and His as pronouns for God but fully recognize God with Male and Female ‘identity’ for lack of a better word, as demonstrated by the Human Race and throughout the Bible. 2 Part post on this, “Transgender God” here. for One (Love).