As I wrote on my other blog, a couple of weeks ago when we spent a few days in San Diego, we stayed at the Sheraton–a beautiful hotel on the bay of the Pacific. During the time we were in our room–when we didn’t have any company–Jerry spent a lot of time “marking” a Bible. He had two Bibles spread before him–an old one showing a worn cover and well-thumbed pages that he would give away, and a newer one he would keep.
The occasion for the gifting would be our eldest son’s 50th birthday. Since his celebration was to be a surprise, when he and Dearrah were in Crestline we had given him a regular birthday gift along with his Christmas present, hoping that move would help alleviate any party arrangement suspicions.
But his special 50th birthday gift would be one of his father’s Bibles that Jerry had used for years–both for studying and for pulpit preaching. The notes and markings inscribed over a number of years were dear to Jerry, though, and he methodically went through the older Bible and transferred unique markings to the copy he would keep.
I watched as Jerry spent many hours lovingly performing this task. On one of those days I stood on the balcony outside our hotel room and recorded this image of my Jerry, an aging godly father, a minister of the gospel, who was preparing a special gift for his eldest son, a son on whom also has fallen the “mantle,” and to whom such a book would be cherished.
I missed the presentation. We had decided to leave the party early for it was now late on Saturday and we had a five-hour drive to Lake Havasu, with church at 9:00 on Sunday morning. Jerry had placed the boxed Bible on the table with other gifts and I thought he was just going to leave it there. I had already started to the car, when Jerry changed his mind, picked up the box, and privately–I believe with just Steve and Dearrah– presented Steve his aged and treasured Bible.
It was a memorable moment, one of pathos and of deep feelings, one of tears and high emotion likely never to be forgotten by either man. Tears heave from my own being as I write this account and consider its deep significance. For such an event is two-pronged: It is at once a statement of the love and honor between a father and his son, and a commentary on the high regard for His Word that is manifest among God’s people.
My other blog is here.