Last night my mom gave me a gem of a keepsake: my grandmother’s Bible.
Immediately I noticed my grandmother and I had something in common when it comes to our Bibles–we like to write in them. Pages were falling out in several places from wear, with theological notes like “Christophany here” and personal notes like “always trust.” The first several pages have what seem to be signatures from people with verse references; we think maybe these were friends or professors from Bible school.
On these pages, in addition to the signatures, she wrote several meaningful statements and a poem.
She wrote, “The will of God will never lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you,” and “Adversity tests the value of a friend.”
I can’t find the original writer of the poem she has here, but it reads:
Were all the earth a parchment made
And every man a scribe by trade,
Could we with ink the ocean fill
Were every blade of grass a quill,
To write the love of God
Would drain the ocean dry,
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky.
These must have been from her days in Bible college. (Grandma had an invitation to be an opera singer at the Metropolitan Opera in New York but decided to go to Moody Bible College instead; this is where she met Grandpa.) One inscription on this page gives the date of Grandma’s commitment to follow Jesus: July 1932. She would have been 10.
On this page Grandma wrote,
A task without a vision makes a drudge.
A vision without a task makes a visionary.
A task and a vision makes a missionary.
This must have been around the time she realized she was going to be a missionary. She and Grandpa served in Costa Rica shortly after they were enrolled at Moody. A statement similar to this is found in a few different layman’s missionary guides and partially attributed to a “President Mullins” at the National Congress of Missions in Chicago in 1910.
I can’t find a source for the other statement, “To get the far away vision is the only cure for the creeping blindness.” Grandma was a poet, lyricist, and songwriter, so she may have written this herself. Will probably have to write a blog post on this soon.
Another inscription tells us how and when she got the Bible– her mother gave it to her on her 16th birthday in 1938.
I can’t wait to go through it more to see the notes she wrote in the margins and which verses she underlined. These may give me even more clues and glimpses into her spiritual life.
I have a very similar Bible that I can’t wait to have passed on to my kids and grandkids. I hope it will tell them a little about me and my walk with God.