Monday, September 20, 2010

Bookmark in a Book

The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer by Jean-Léon Gérôme 1883

This painting is on the cover of a book the kids and I are currently reading for literature, history and theology. The book is entitled Eusebius The Church History by Paul L. Maier. Whereby Herodatus is considered the father of history, Eusebius of Caesarea (c. A.D. 260-339) is considered the father of church history. We're only three chapters in, but I must say it is an amazing piece of literature which traces the rise of Christianity during its crucial first three centuries from Christ to Constantine. I will have a quote from it tomorrow, Lord willing.

This post is not to talk about the book necessarily, but to tell a story I was reminded of when I noticed the bookmark being used within its pages. There's nothing fancy about the bookmark itself. It's a thin piece of paper which appears to be hand-laminated. Adorned with a monarch butterfly perched on what looks like Queen Ann's Lace, here are the words on the front of the bookmark:

Keep thy heart
with all
for out of it
are the issues
of life.
Proverbs 4:23

And on the back, these words:

Feel glum?
Keep mum.

Don't grumble.
Be humble.

Trials cling?
Just sing.

Can't sing?
Just cling.

Don't fear.
God's near.

Money goes.
He knows.

Honor left.
Not bereft.

Don't rust.
Work! Trust!

Several years ago we decided as a family to head out to a very fancy restaurant for dinner. The local Wendy's. Not wanting to eat on the run, we decided to go inside so we could enjoy dinner together. Providence perhaps?

At least you've got an image in your mind's eye, right?

Just across from us were seated an old man and an old woman. If memory serves me correctly, they came into the restaurant just after us. After they sat down with their bag of fast food, they bowed their heads and prayed.

I don't think we were lingering on purpose, but they finished their meal before we did. Then we saw them start walking around together from table to table talking to people and handing them something. When they came to our table, the old man's face beamed with joy and he gave a word of blessing (I don't remember the words exactly, but it was something like, "God loves you and cares for you!"), and handed us the bookmark. We started talking with one another and eventually walked out together. They were driving an old car, weighed down with a clothes rack across the back seat and filled with papers and boxes. They were on their way somewhere.

I had forgotten this act of kindness until I pulled out the bookmark this afternoon--then the story came right back into my memory. An act of kindness from a couple in the late evening hours of their lives, still reaching out to share the love of Christ.

Perhaps we will meet again someday. Perhaps!

You know, I needed my heart to hear these words today. They have proven to be a wonderful reminder to me to sing and cling and work and trust!

Standing on the promises of God,

1 comment:

  1. Love that! I will be repeating that many times: Sing. Cling. Work. Trust!