Friday, February 10, 2012

The Legacy

Yesterday morning I stepped out of the elevator into our lobby in preparation for heading out for my daily walk,  As I always do, I glanced to my left at the table standing against the wall.  Imagine my surprise when I spotted two large stacks of Bibles setting there!  People often leave books, pamphlets, small household items that they no longer want and even an occasional bag of clothing on the table, but never have I seen so many Bibles outside of a Christian bookstore at one time!  They were in various sizes, most in Bible covers and there were a few books and devotionals included in the mix.  Now to one who absolutely loves Bibles and their various translations and loves collecting them, I was in heaven!  :)  Though the majority of them were in Korean, I did find a New American Standard translation of the Bible in English, a book written by Joel Osteen and a very interesting resource entitled, "Discover What the Bible Says About 500 Real-Life Topics."  Not having an NAS version of the Bible, I decided to keep it in addition to the other two books.

While leafing through the Study Bible, I imagined what the owner of this Bible was like.  Had he or she passed away and relatives decided to leave this collection in the lobby for other tenants to pick up and take home?  Had someone moved away and decided to leave many of their Bibles behind?  I had serious doubts about this last option, as I couldn't imagine any believer parting with his/her Bibles willingly; at least that's how I would feel unless it was for a very unusual and good cause.  I have a Bible that is coming apart at the seams, but I treasure it above all others and wouldn't give it away for anything.  I'm sure there might be other reasons as to why the Bibles were left there, but I tend to think that the first case scenario might be what happened.  When I opened the Joel Osteen book, there was a notation in the inside front cover that read, "Congratulations Kevin Lee!  Shepherd Christian Church, Rev. Myung Hur."  Perhaps Kevin won this book or it was given to him on a special occasion.  I don't know for sure if this book or the other one belonged to the same person who owned the Bible, but it does seem likely. 

This was written on the inside back page of the Bible:

Obviously, I don't read Korean, but I can't help being curious about the writing and the date.  Was 1984 the year he bought the Bible, or maybe the year he was saved?  I also found strips of paper in the Bible, marking various passages:  Psalm 23, Matthew 4, Matthew 1:20, John 10:7 and Romans 3:10.  These verses of Scripture must have had special meaning for him.  Though there are no marginal or footnotes on any of the pages, I can tell this was a well read and well loved Bible.  The front binding has been carefully taped where it had begun to separate.  The pages are beginning to show signs of age but look as though they've often been lovingly thumbed through. 

I will never know for sure who owned this Bible, but it doesn't take away from my pleasure and enjoyment of speculating and from having a new translation of the Word to read.  I whispered a prayer to the Lord last night, requesting that if Kevin Lee has gone on to glory, to please let him know I have his Bible and am taking good care of it.  And to tell him that someday when we meet, I'll look forward to sharing our love for Jesus as we praise and worship Him together.  I have a feeling Kevin will smile when he hears this.  :)

My latest Valentine creations: