The Bible in the Picture

As most of you know, I published a book of daily devotionals (I prefer to call them daily encouragements) in 2010, and my Mom’s picture is on the cover. I published Be Still primarily as a tribute to, and a gift for, Mom, because she’s one of the main reasons I write encouragements and share them with friends and family. Not to mention, her prayers—all my life—have held me within shouting distance of the path God would have me walk.

But the story of the book’s cover is an interesting one. I conceived the idea one day last summer then planned and executed it when Mom and Ray came for a visit in September. The picture was taken one beautiful morning; the stage was our backyard patio, and, as you can see, the flowers and crepe myrtle were most cooperative. The book, by the way, was already in production.

I told Mom I wanted the picture to hang on our den wall, alongside a daily encouragement I’d written for her birthday (it’s on page 306 of the book). She thought that was kind of weird, but she knows I’m kind of weird, so she went along with it.

When we were ready, I told her to bring a Bible from my office, and once we were outside, I set her up so we could take maximum advantage of the colorful flowers, and the picture turned out wonderful. I know I’m prejudiced, but I think the cover of Be Still is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

Mom and Ray came back to College Station for Christmas, and after a feverish schedule that went right down to the wire, we were able to present a hardbound copy of the book to Mom for Christmas. Of course, we were so excited we couldn’t wait for Christmas Day—or even Christmas Eve—to give it to her, so on December 22, we presented the book to her. And, yes, tears were shed.

The thing that amazed me most about Mom’s reaction was she kept saying she didn’t deserve this. I think it was kind of daunting, too, as she thought about this book being in people’s hands all over the country. But that part about not deserving it; Ha! No mom has ever deserved anything more. After all she’s done for me—mostly never giving up on me, and praying non-stop for me—how can she even think she’s not the most awesome Mom in the world.

Here’s the amazing part of this story: After a few hours of the reality of it all settling in, Mom came into the living room with this look of amazement on her face. When we asked her what was going on, she explained she’d suddenly realized two things.

One was that today—the day we gave her the book—was her Daddy’s birthday (we all called him Pa). That alone was enough to put lumps in our throats. Pa was the patriarch of our family, and though He is gone, having passed away some years ago, we all hold onto the memories of what a special man he was.

But that wasn’t the end of it; Mom pointed to the Bible she was holding in the picture on the cover of the book and said, “The Bible in the picture…. that’s Pa’s Bible.”

I was stunned, but realized that, yes, among the several Bibles in my office, Pa’s was there. Mom’s sister, my Aunt Ada, had given it to me after Pa’s passing, and I keep it on the top of my book case. When Mom had gone in to get a Bible for the picture, it was the first one she saw, so she chose it, without looking close enough to discover it was Pa’s.

All I can say to finish this story is God works in wondrous ways. A book that is so special to me and all my family was “accidently” made even more special by another book—Pa’s Bible—being on the cover of it.

Let me assure you, even if this book never sells another copy, it has enriched me beyond my wildest dreams.

Thank you, God, for loving me, and blessing me with the best mom ever.

5 Comments »

  1. cheri said

    How AWESOME:)…thank you for sharing!

  2. Vangie said

    This story touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. This is awesome and your book is too. I’m so glad that I have it.

    • Thanks, Vangie. I cannot adequately convey how much your kind words mean to me this morning.

  3. Sherry Mashburn said

    It was such an amazing and moving moment . . .I still get choked up about it.

    and Charlie is right . . . the cover is BEAUTIFUL.

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