My Grandfather's Bible
Extra from Volume 13#4
by Peyton H.
If any of you are like me, your family has had a Christian heritage for many generations. Growing up, I knew that my grandparents loved God and taught us to love Him too. As I grew older, I began to realize what an impact my grandparents did have on my life. On my mother’s side of the family, my grandmother helped to raise my cousins in the church. It was a blessing to them that she would take them to church each Sunday. Sadly, around the time that I was about seven or eight years old, my grandfather was diagnosed with a disease that would eventually take his mind. After that time, I rarely heard my grandfather say much. He was quiet anyways, but the disease made him even more quiet. Sometimes my mother would ask him to share about his faith, but he really wasn’t interested. For a while that bothered me. I wondered why he wouldn’t say much. In 2013, he passed away.
This time of my life it was very trying because my grandmother was developing signs of a similar disease, but we didn’t know it. As time went on we came to the conclusion that my grandmother couldn’t live by herself anymore. We got her an apartment in a retirement community. Since the apartment was small, she couldn’t take everything with her. So during March of 2017, my family began to clean out my grandmother’s house. We went through many boxes of old family heirlooms. I enjoyed looking through old books and Bibles that have been in the family for years.
In one box I found a Bible that had been my grandfather's when he lived in Texas over 40 years ago. As I was looking through this Bible, I realized that this was the Bible that he had used when he was questioning his faith. He had written notes and underlined verses throughout his Bible. All of the verses had to do with salvation and what it means to be a Christian. I enjoyed looking through the Bible and felt as if I was journeying with my grandfather through what it means to follow Christ. Honestly, I wanted to have this Bible forever as a testament to what Christianity means to my family. I kept the Bible on my shelf for several months.
In June, as I was preparing to leave for a mission trip in Chicago, I debated about what Bible to bring. I needed a compact one because we were limited with the luggage that we could bring. It just so happened that my grandfather’s Bible fit perfectly into my luggage. That was to be my Bible for the trip. I was traveling with a choir called Zamar Student Choir. We would go around to various places and sing. After singing, we would pass out CDs of us singing and share the Gospel with people. While at The Bean, we sang an acapella concert and afterwards handed out CDs to various people around. Several of us walked up to this young lady named Dim. She was from Asia and here in the States for school. We started talking to her, and she was there to worship at the temple. As we talked I began to realize that she was very open to Christianity and listened to what we had to say. She even told us that she had a friend who was a Christian. I enjoyed getting to know her better and learning about what she believed. As we were wrapping up, I asked her if she had a Bible. She said that she didn’t. I reached into my backpack and thought to myself, “I can be selfish and keep this Bible. Or I can give this Bible to Dim and maybe make a difference in her life for eternity.” As my hand felt for my grandfather’s Bible, I knew that I could not hesitate. This is what God wanted me to do. I handed Dim the Bible and told her the story behind it. I told her that if she had time, looking up the verses would help her in her search for God.
I tell this story to encourage you. Sometimes we get wrapped up in the meaning and legacy of our families. I really did want to keep that Bible to show to my children someday, but God had other plans. I encourage you to ask your grandparents about their faith before it is too late. Ask them how they came to know Christ. Ask them what salvation means to them. It will be a blessing to you if you do that. One more thing I want to encourage you with is to always be on the lookout for those who don’t know Christ. You don’t have to give away a Bible, but you can always make a difference in the lives of others by what you say and the smile on your face. The legacy that my grandfather left in that Bible continues to live on. I can’t say what Dim will do with the Bible, but I do hope that she can read it and come to faith in Jesus Christ.