“Be sure to flip through the pages of every Bible you find. People often stash cash in there.”
I did find cash. The largest bill I found was a fifty. I don’t know if the owner used it as a unique bookmark or if it just never made it to the offering plate.
Marion Shurtleff of San Clemente, California, made a much more startling discovery in a used Bible she purchased. She found an essay she had written 65 years earlier when she was a 10-year-old Girl Scout in Covington, Kentucky. “I opened the Bible and there was my name,” Shurtleff said. “I recognized my handwriting. I was shaking, literally.”
That would be a stunning discovery, absolutely “shake-worthy.” But believe it or not, I recently made an even more amazing discovery in my Bible. It happened during a team-building exercise this summer in Romania. Our mission team stood in a circle and leaders Becca and Kelsea chose one person to stand in the center. Then each team member took a turn speaking encouragement and blessing to the person in the middle.
That evening Lauren was chosen as the focus of our encouraging words. Earlier in the week she had courageously shared her powerful testimony in a village church. It was obvious that Lauren’s words brought hope to those who listened. Now she
stood in the center of our circle. When my turn came, I said, “Lauren, I found you in the Bible! Right here you are: Praise be to the God and Father of Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in trouble with the same comfort we ourselves receive from God (2 Corinthian 1:3, 4).
I saw in Lauren the beautiful flow described in these Bible verses: God had comforted her during an extremely challenging season. The story could have ended there, but it didn’t. Lauren shared her testimony, and as she did, God’s comfort continued its flow through her and into the lives of those who heard.
Some people find old letters or forgotten cash in Bibles. But I found a person, a young woman whose life beautifully illustrates a passage in the Bible. How absolutely spectacular to see Scripture sprout legs and walk off the pages of the Bible in the form of a believer named Lauren.
Praise be to the God of all comfort, who comforted Lauren in all her troubles, so that she could comfort those in trouble with the same comfort Lauren herself received from God.