As I think about the material items that I treasure most, I’m not surprised that none of them are of great dollar value. If a house fire torched our clothes, televisions, and other belongings, naturally I’d be saddened by the loss and overwhelmed with the burden of replacing everything. But the reality is—they can be replaced. Keepsakes, on the other hand, are more precious than gold and would be lost forever. All of the weathered books that my grandfather once read and jotted notes in the margins are irreplaceable. When I hold these books I feel a connection to him even though he’s gone home to be with Jesus. How devastating it would be to lose the precious things my mother has handed down to me.
I remember several years ago, my mother and I sat on her bed and she read my grandfather’s faded old letters from when he was in college. In 1937 my grandfather graduated from Selma University in Selma Alabama with a degree in Theology. I have a picture of him with his graduating class in my office. What I remember most about his letters, were the comments he made about the food in the dorm—some things never change right?
Maybe I inherited my love of books and learning from him. Of my grandfather’s books, one is my favorite. The book is titled God’s Minute – A Book of 365 Daily Prayers Sixty Seconds Long For Home Worship. The book has a copyright date of 1916, but as I’ve read the prayers I’ve found them to be timeless. Except for the formal language, this book could easily be written by an author today.
Another favorite is a small ivory-colored Bible my mother gave me when I got married. The Bible was given to her to be placed within her wedding bouquet and my mom passed it down to me to do the same. Of course, no one could see the Bible tucked among my flowers, but it meant a lot to me to have it with me on my special day.
My final favorite is a book that once belonged to my grandmother. Although my grandfather was the minister in the family, my grandmother knew how to pack a church, too. As my mom tells me, each of my grandparents had very different styles when it came to preaching, but they always complimented each other well. Three Christmas’ ago, my mother surprised me with a book that my grandfather gave to my grandmother as a gift. The book is titled All of the Women of the Bible and it’s written by Edith Deen, copyright 1955.
What a blessing to hold these treasures in my hand and remember those I love. I’m sure each of you has special items that are near and dear to your hearts. I hope you’ll share a few of them with us and allow us to rummage through your treasure chest while you reminisce.