I came to the Lord through reading a Gideon Bible I had stolen from a hotel in San Francisco. I was on my honeymoon with my first husband, having gotten married the first time when I was 19. Of course the marriage was a disaster, born out of insecurity and confusion after losing both of my parents in my late teens. I’ve forgiven myself for the lack of judgment and I know the Lord has as well, but back to my Gideon story.
I clearly remember putting the Bible in my suitcase and thinking, “I have to take a look at this thing someday.”
Raised as a Catholic, the priest indoctrinated us in the belief that we were lower beings unable to unlock the mysteries of the Word. It was old-school Catholocism and it worked for a while.
The Bible sat on my shelf until I got seriously ill a few years later. Some goofy virus left my beautiful young face with a facial paralysis and compromised my immune system. Many years of allergy shots and enzymes built me back up and still sustain me well, but at the time I was a sick puppy. It was no joy for my shallow hubby to look after me and life began to fall apart on all fronts.
I took the Bible off the shelf. I read that God loved me and that He was a God of peace and comfort. I read that He will judge all my days and actions, but that He is also a God of great mercy and grace. As my health transformed, my mind transformed. My stolen treasure became heavily underlined and annotated. My life became His.
And so began the journey I continue to walk today – strengthened in my weaknesses, blessed beyond belief, constantly aware of the wings undergirding me. Eternally grateful for the foresight that endowed the Gideon group and the caring hands that placed that particular book in a drawer in a San Francisco hotel for a lost, sad soul to discover.
Recently, I was in a hotel and saw two books in the drawer. My heart yearns to see that others choose wisely. I offer a silent prayer for all who are still seeking. When you earnestly look for Him, He will be found. May you choose the path to peace and salvation.