What a mess! I texted Lillian, “So sorry. I’m going to be late.” We were meeting to go to IKEA. Simple. Not so simple, since I decided to do Advent readings, light candles at breakfast instead of dinnertime. All good until I knocked over my coffee and it spread faster than a lie towards the opened King James Bible. Heaven help me!
Now, some of you may be wondering, “Why is she reading that translation?” Well, I don’t usually, except at Christmas. I like the language I heard as a child in church and around our dining room table when Daddy read the Bible. I like reading exact words I heard often from my parents and grandparents from Luke 1:37, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” So much seems impossible these days.
But here I was, wanting a few holy moments. Instead, I’m grabbing rags to mop up coffee. Life on the run. I wanted to protect the Bible that protects me, even when I don’t always respond with simple faith and trust like Mary. “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word…” (Luke 1:38)
Then, there was another reason I YELLED when I saw the coffee running towards the Bible’s edges. My Norwegian grandparents gave that Bible to us. It’s big and cumbersome, and one of the first things I’d grab in case of a fire. Elias Tweten was a Baptist minister and my grandfather. While both grandparents were loved and valued, it was my grandmother, Ella, who had the greater influence on me. So this Bible connects me to more than my youth. It’s part of our family history. A legacy of grace, forgiveness, failures, tenacious faith and hope.
The Bible is inscribed as follows:
To dear Janice and Jud from Grandma and Grandpa Tweten August 14, 1966
“For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.” Psalm 48:14
Their simple testimony in King James English.
A small cross, crocheted by my grandmother, bookmarks the passage that continues to mark me. But now, the Bible has the scent of coffee. Which, if you know any Norwegians, probably isn’t such a bad thing. In the end it’s about the Bible getting into us. Not about what gets onto the Bible.
Well, Mama, Grandma and my Norwegian relatives are probably drinking the best coffee ever on heaven’s porch, while laughing over this blog. After all, Mama wrote a book called, First We Have Coffee about her Norwegian family: the good, bad, and needy wrapped in God’s faithfulness and love. Kinda like the Bible. Stories of imperfect people loved perfectly by God.
Well, Mama spilled the beans, so to speak, when she wrote that book.
I just spilled the coffee.
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