The Bible of a Lesser Man
The author of this blog is serving time in Federal prison.
I was in a Christian bookstore in March of 1997 when the man came in with this lady. I would later learn that the lady had brought the man to the store so that they could buy him his first Bible. They flipped through several copies, giving each a cursory glance and then the man looked at me. He opened me up and saw various notes and outlines and study guides, then he checked out John 3:16. I can only assume that it was the one verse he was familiar with and he wanted to make sure I was authentic. Well either way, he decided that I was the one and he eagerly took me home.
Those first few months were great. He took me everywhere: work, school, church. He would study me earnestly during free time at work and at Bible study with his new friends. I joyfully watched as my new owner grew in his faith. There was just one hitch. Some sin seemed to be holding him back, but I didn’t know what it was. Sadly, I don’t think my new owner realized that something was holding him back either. If he did know, he certainly didn’t let anyone else know that he treated sin very lightly. The end result was that he picked me up less and less and he was no longer excited about opening me up and learning what my author had written for him.
As time moved on the man would eventually marry the lady that he was with when he bought me. She encouraged him in his relationship with the man that penned me but he was sluggish and not excited anymore about learning what had been written on my pages. My owner continued to go to church every week, but for some reason he wouldn’t take me along with him everywhere he went…..not even to church! He would bring me out to go to Bible studies during the week. I guess that was good. He used to always know where I was, but now he sometimes had a hard time finding me. Occasionally I was under a pile of papers, sometimes I was rattling around in the back of his truck. Every once in a while I was under his bed. Still other times I was on the bottom of a bookshelf gathering dust. I always hated that. I always felt that my author was better than any other author that had ever lived. Evidently my owner didn’t see it that way. Maybe he just didn’t know.
I knew the man was struggling with something and every day I wished he would regain that earnest excitement he had for me when I first met him. I had all of the answers for him; for whatever he was dealing with, but now it was almost an absolute refusal to even open me at all.
I was now completely neglected. As months turned into years the man and his wife bought a house and had some children and he continued to make life changing decisions without ever consulting my pages. I was now beginning to wonder why he had even bothered to adopt me in the first place. He would bring me out for small group meetings and various other Bible studies. Again, I guess that was good. At this point; however, my owner was just going through the motions and I was thinking that he was bringing me out just for show. I could only hope that my thoughts were not entirely true.
Sometimes I think he would actually consult my author when he was with others, but he would never open me when he was by himself…..I wanted to call out to him and save him, but I was powerless to do so.
Fortunately, my author was not powerless to call my owner, and indeed he did. My author, who created the stars and the heavens above, my author who created the entire universe, loved my owner and called him back. My author showed the man that he was valuable and that he had a plan for him and that I was his key to that knowledge.
I am sad today. My owner and I have been separated now for sometime. I hear that my author has done great works in his life and that he has discovered profound freedom in his new life, but I still miss my owner. I am confident he will return for me……someday.
I look foward to encouraging him with a short story from the Apostle Paul.
Onesimus, a bondservant, had committed a crime against Philemon, after which he, Onesimus, fled to Rome. By a remarkable “coincidence” Onesimus, once in Rome, runs into Paul. At that point, evidently, Onesimus turns his life over to the Lord and then grows in his relationship with God. Paul writes a letter to Philemon on behalf of a renewed Onesimus to encourage Philemon to receive Onesimus back as a beloved brother in Christ.
That letter today is now part of canonized scripture. Paul’s words to Philemon about Onesimus hopefully speak to you as well. As verse 11 speaks of Onesimus, I can say with confidence that it speaks, by extension, of my owner with stunning accuracy.
“Formerly he was useless to you but now he is indeed useful to you and me.”
In the meantime, I hope one of my brothers has found his way to my owner so that he may continue to store up my author’s word in his heart while I patiently wait for his return.
Bob from accounting