If you look closely as you flip through the book of Proverbs in my Bible, you will see dates.
The pages–and not only of Proverbs–are full of highlights, underlines, margin notes, and dates. Pages are marked with ribbons, receipts, sermon notes, and inserts from ‘prayer cookies’.
I have had this particular Bible for almost twenty years, ever since I was in college. Its leather cover is nicked and dinged, the spine broken, edges tearing. It has gone from Indiana to Florida to Cayman to Russia and back again and bears the weight and stories of all it carries. No other Bible that I have bought or been gifted has seen as much of me and my life as this one; nor is is any other Bible in my possesion continually sought out as much as this one because of the very fact.
It is precious. Not only because of what is typset on its pages but because of what it carries between its covers: my life and my journey into Love. As I have said before: teaching is my job, writing is my joy, but Love is my vocation. The Love that Jesus showed to every soul He encountered, even up to and during his final moments in this life, is recorded for us here. The loving lives that we are admonished to are demonstrated for us here. Encouragements I often need (whether for myself or to share) can be found here.
This book is where I learn continually to walk my life in the footsteps and actions of Jesus, where I learn to emulate my Lord, and where, couched by dates and cross-referenced with journals, I can see how His teachings are relevant and alive and how He has held and spoken to me in those poignant moments. Moments of growth, moments of grief, moments of joy, and everything in between.
This book holds me and Jesus, side by side, on this walk through life, because Love is a daily journey.