Old Bibles are like old friends. Irreplaceable.

Lost mine about a year ago. Not lost it, exactly; I retired it.

Was about time. Both front and back covers were gone. Inside pages were coming apart. Some were hopelessly crinkled.

“Embarrassing,” said Charlotte, spoken as she rolled her eyes when a page or two drifted to the floor, usually while I taught Sunday school or, worse still, while officiating at a wedding.

I suggested duct tape. More rolling of the eyes.

One just can’t part with his Bible. This was a special edition given by the American Tract Society to graduates of West Point. Fifteen years ago, my cousin Kent, who worked for ATS, gave one to me.

But that’s not the main reason I missed it. My Bible was filled with markings—exclamation marks, quotation marks, smiley faces, and other abbreviations known only to me.

I knew where verses were in this Bible, and what they meant, and I was too old to break in a new one.

So imagine the surprise when my friend Ray brought by a Christmas present last night. He had conspired with Charlotte to rescue the ailing patient from my “to do” stack (the loneliest spot in my office) and whisk it off to a Bible doctor in Lubbock.

The result is amazing. So Saturday morning I’ll read the Christmas story where I should read the Christmas story.

In my Bible.

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