During a recent visit with my family in Searcy I found one of my dad’s Bibles that I knew he had used in Finland. It is obvious that he had read it cover-to-cover. It is pretty worn and frazzled with a couple of pages falling out.
There are the pencil highlights that verify his journey through every page. Hardly a page in his Bible escaped a note or a pencil underline.
Then there are the pages folded over to mark special passages that he could turn to easily and that he did not want to forget. One of those passages jumped out at me this afternoon. Not only was it folded over; I also discovered one of my old business cards tucked in the fold of the page! The passage is in Isaiah 1 verses 13 through 17. It reads:Stop bringing meaningless offerings Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations– I cannot bear your evil assemblies. Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.
Later, God says,Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. (NIV)
Reading this passage reminded me that my dad has always made a point of showing me his religion. A man of few words, dad rarely lectured me on the truths of scripture. What he has always done is illustrate the Word of God with his life with a consistency that still causes me to marvel, setting a standard that I still aspire to achieve.