She came to me late one night, her brown eyes wide with hope, “I know I’m not suppose to ask for anything, but could I, maybe, ask for one little thing?”
I smiled down at her, this dolly who has so effectively stolen my heart, “Okay, one thing,” I say, expecting a request for candy.
“Can you get me one of those books?”
My mind raced but came up with nothing, “Books?”
“The ones that you and Amos have, the ones with the God-stories.”
I hugged her tight. “Yes, yes, we’ll get you a Bible.”
We ordered one and watched her jump up and down in excitement when it arrived. She touched it, running fingers over the cover and pages. She read it, curled up in her bed. She copied verses into her journal.
And I learned deep from the child who felt the value of the Word of God.
It was a few days later that she came to me again. I was working in the kitchen, cooking rice and beans (much to her chagrin) and she watched me for several minutes before saying, “Why are there red lines?”
I looked wildly around the counter. Red lines?
She ran and brought her Bible back. “See, red lines.”
I’ve been looking at red-letter Bibles for twenty-some years, and I forget, so often, the glorious beauty of the words of Jesus. Until she reminded me with her simple question.
We sat right down, her and I, and looked at the words in red. We talked about who Jesus was and is and will always be.
We read the story about the time Jesus healed the man with leprosy.
“He seems good,” she says.
“Yes, yes,” I whisper, “He is good.”
She sits, you know, and runs her fingers over the red letters. She reads, she smiles. She tells me later, “It doesn’t really make much sense, but I like the name Jesus,” she shrugs her thin shoulders, “it makes me happy.”
And I sit, holding the Bible in my lap, and I touch the red letters and feel it,
the presence of a gracious, wonderful God.
May I never forget the power and comfort of His words.