I was emptying boxes of books today. Usually this is a pleasurable experience as I can enjoy seeing some "old friends" as I place them on the new bookshelves. I was going along happily until I found some old children's books. I mean OLD. Their bindings were worn and in some cases broken and they were dusty. But as I brought them out to see them, I remembered rainy nights and days reading some of these over and over and over again. The problem was remembering them in the old house. Amidst the warm wood windows, the flowered and sometimes teddy bear wallpaper, and the creaky wooden floors. I suddenly missed the other house with an ache so sudden I started weeping without even being sure why I was doing it.
I wondered why we left. I wondered how we would ever adjust to this new place. I wondered if this place would ever feel like a home. Tissue after tissue from the box blotted up my memories. I knew I needed to get a hold of myself so I could continue. And then, there in the bottom of the box was an old, scraggly zippered bible I got when I was a kid. The King James Version, of course. I unzipped it and began looking at the pictures. The fierce expression on Moses as he held aloft the 10 commandments. The angry expression on Jesus' face as he chased the money lenders from the Temple. And just like that I was comforted.
How could I be comforted with these depictions of angry prophets and the Son of God? Well, I remembered, too, the comfort the stories gave me in other times of trial. And the constant reminder that God is with us in all circumstances and in all places. As my faith expanded with study and prayer and yes, questions and doubts, I became more comfortable in the knowledge of that one true fact--that God loves me no matter what. And so yes, I was comforted in that book today. I know that there are challenges ahead for husband and I as we walk forward in this path we've chosen. But I know that there on the shelf is the reminder that I needed. And I can go from here, with a tissue box in hand but knowing that I am loved and understood by the Creator.