My son sat in our living room with Bibles spread on the floor around him. He and I discussed translations, commentaries, and Study Bibles: the tools we use to interpret God’s Word. We talked about things like how I think 1 Corinthians 13 in the KJV reads like poetry. 

I pulled a few more volumes from the shelf — a multi-volume exposition of the Old and New Testaments. They belonged to my grandfather, who was a minister. He passed away over thirty years ago, well before my son was born.  I thought my son would enjoy diving deeper into the Word using these family heirlooms. 

Time has aged and yellowed their pages. Nothing but duct tape and the grace of God hold some of them together. I can still picture Granddad studying in his recliner, his desk on his left, and bookshelves of religious commentaries behind him. 

He filled his Bible, worn and supple, with notes and underlined verses in red. These lines weren’t haphazard. My grandfather drew them precisely, pen guided by a popsicle stick he positioned beneath the lines of text. I found one of his sticks a few years ago; I keep it in my Bible case, a personal treasure that steadies my hand now, as it once did his. 

Inside John Gill’s Exposition of the Old Testament, Volume II, my son and I saw those familiar red lines on worn pages that still smell like my grandparents’ home. Granddad kept cards and letters in his books. In this one, we discovered a get well soon card, and an envelope on which Granddad had written “This Day I Will Not Forget.”

Please join me at (in)courage for the rest of the article and what I learned about sharing feelings and emotions with our people.

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