Today in church, we had a guest speaker from Gideon International. You know The Gideons. They're the ones responsible for putting Bibles in hotels, and giving them out in schools and such. Anyway, every year they come and speak, and every year I plan this blog post, and every year, I end up not posting it.
Well, this year I am.
I was headed out to Navy Basic Training. There were five of us flying out of Houston, TX, headed to Orlando, FL. One of the guys with us was absolutely petrified of flying. Nervously pacing the airport, in the midst of his nonsensical ramblings, he suddenly blurted out, "I need a Bible. Somebody get me a Bible."
So the five of us headed on over to the USO, and sure enough, on a table there in the lobby, there were two stacks of Bibles, placed there by the Gideons. I picked one up and handed it to him. Immediately he began protesting, "I can't steal a Bible!"
Having grown up in church, and being familiar with the Gideons, I assured him that it wasn't stealing. They put those Bibles there for you to take. They want you to get one.
But no matter how I tried to reassure him, he left the USO without taking a Bible. After he had gone, I picked up one of the New Testaments and hid it away in my pocket. Once we were on the plane, I gave it to him. Again, he protested that he couldn't steal a Bible.
"You didn't steal it. I did. I'm the one who'll have to answer for it, so take it."
He did. Later that night, we arrived safely in Orlando. He went to his company, and I went to mine. I lost track of him after Basic Training, but I often think of him. I wonder where he, and that little Testament, ended up. The Bible says if God's word goes forth, it will not return void. I hope that little Bible was able to make a difference in someone's life.
I hope one day I do have to answer for it.
For stealing that Bible.