Monday, October 10, 2011

5. Zeb's in Love

Zeb began, “I must tell you all of a great love of my life.” The kids expected Buddy to pull some pictures of grand children or wife out of his wallet, but he didn’t. He held up his battered well-worn Bible. “This is the greatest love of my life, second only to its Author, Jesus Christ,” he proudly told his listeners.

Buddy slid a smaller cardboard box over between his ‘Thursday night family’ of children and himself. He began using it like a desk and then caressing the Bible as he spoke to the children. “Even before we open this treasure chest of pages and promises, it tickles me through and through to think that God has blessed me with being taught how to read, for one thing.”

And the other is that in this country we have a Bible, our very own copy sometimes, in our own language. You know, it just puts me to mind that God is up to something. Really. I look at this book here and then I see all your faces that seem eager to learn. Just as sure as there’s a big shiny fire truck right outside that door, I believe God wants to give each of us a real blast of His Blessings. And don’t you think for a minute that He doesn’t know just what we each need.” With great eye contact with each kid, “I sure hope each of you think that way too.”

The old Bible was opened, pausing at this page and then going on to another page, and then another. What the young people saw were lots and lots of little notes in the margins of so many of the pages. The notes warmed Nancy’s heart in thinking it was evidence that someone had been down this trail and that trail before with a mind to help later followers.

She was eager to follow. She had so many heart aches and questions that the mop room became to her a peaceful lake with clear refreshing water promising beautiful reflections of God’s provisions for her, here and now. Nancy decided that approaching God’s Word with the anticipation and expectation you’d have sitting down to a tasty strength-giving meal was the right thing to always do.

Zeb turned to one page and with a chuckle told the boys and girls, “See this verse I have circled with sun rays for emphasis? It always warms me every time I read it. Listen to the words. Try to see them in your mind as I read. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” 

He ended with, “John 14 verse 27”. With another smile he caressed the pages once more. “Some of you have already gone farther in school that I have, but it feels good inside to know I don’t have to go very far till I read promises that comfort and calm me. This is what I want to show each of you as we begin traveling through this treasure chest of God’s gifts to us”.

Buddy asked his young listeners, “How many of you remember David the little shepherd boy that killed the giant and later became a king? He wrote what I call the juicy verse. He wrote, ‘How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!’ (Ps 119:103.) 

Boys and girls, I can’t think of many tragedies worse than people in this country owning a Bible but never feeding on its sweet goodness each day.”