It’s funny the memories that stick with you. I’ve heard that we remember the things that either evoke exceptionally good feelings or the very bad ones. This particular memory is definitely one that brings back the good emotions.
The first day of 7th grade I met Candy. She had the longest brown hair I’d ever seen–it went all the way to her seat! That is one thing Candy and I did not have in common. But in so many other ways we were very much alike. We both played the French horn–I struggled while Candy eventually got her Masters degree in music–, we both had braces, we both loved to read Nancy Drew books, and we were both Christians.
Candy and I still keep in touch and occasionally my family even gets to visit her and her husband Randy. In fact, every February, without fail, I receive a birthday card from Candy with a handwritten note in it that details everything that’s been happening in her life and the life of her family over the past year. I love those notes.
But Candy used to give me notes that I loved even more. I don’t know if she would even remember this, but it’s one of those sweet memories that has stuck with me over many, many years.
All the way through middle school and high school Candy used to bring me little neatly folded pieces of notebook paper and hand them to me at least a few times each month. I’d open them knowing what type of message I’d find inside, but clueless as to the details. You see ever so often Candy would write out complete Bible verses for me to enjoy. I suppose these were scriptures that she either learned of in church, read on her own from her Bible, or received from her mother or one of her older sisters. The verses ran the full gamut from Old Testament to New. They were promises from God, convicting instructions, wise proverbs, soothing psalms, and words of Jesus.
I would read the verses over and over, trying to let them fall on me just like they must have settled on her, in such a way that they would compel me to want to share them with someone else. I don’t really remember how I reacted to these handwritten pages of scriptures, carefully penciled in Candy’s immaculate script. I don’t remember now if I’d try to memorize them, tuck them away somewhere for safe keeping, put them on my nightstand and read them over and over, or just what. But I know that my friend’s deliberate passing on of the Word of God has stuck with me all these years and it is perhaps one of my most vivid teenage memories–right up there with pep rallies and band trips and mean teachers and awkwardness.
I share this story with you today because I read in 2 Kings 22 about Shaphan the scribe coming to king Josiah and saying, “‘Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.’ And Shaphan read it before the king.”
Finally the Word of God had been found in the house of God. But Hilkiah the priest didn’t keep it to himself…he shared it with Shaphan. And the scribe didn’t keep it to himself. He shared it with Josiah. And Josiah didn’t keep it to himself. He read it before the people. And as they read, God spoke and their hearts were convicted and things began to change and God blessed. Because the Word of God is powerful and accomplishes great things in our lives without fail. That’s just its nature.
And this has me thinking: Am I sharing the Word of God with anyone? Sure I share what I read with you here five days a week. But when was the last time I said to someone personally, “Let me tell you what I read yesterday in the Bible”? Have I told my children what I’ve read? Have I shared my insights with my husband? Have I written out a verse and given it to a friend?
So today I challenge you and me to share the Word of God with someone today. I mean it. Really. Let’s tell someone what we’ve read in God’s Word some time recently. You can share with your 8 month old baby, your husband, your walking buddy, your e-mail friend, your co-worker, your mom, your teenager, your grandmother, you name it! But wouldn’t it be grand to get into the daily, that’s right daily, habit of telling someone what we read in the Bible and why it meant so much to us?
That’s what Candy did for me all those years ago and I still remember those notebook paper pages with four or five handwritten scriptures on them like I saw them just yesterday. Those are sweet, precious memories that continue to speak loudly to my soul. I think those are the kind of memorable things we’d all like to do for the people in our lives. It’s as simple as saying, “Hey! I found a verse in the Word of the Lord. Let me share it with you!” And when we do share it we can be assured that it will not return void, but will accomplish something with God’s blessing. Like the scriptures Candy used to write out for me, the words themselves may fade from the minds of those we shared with. But the fact that we took the time to share the treasure will not. The act of sharing itself will speak volumes. For we will have shared the Bread of Life.
So if you take me up on this challenge, and I hope you will, then let me know who you share with and maybe even which scripture you pass on to them. I’d love to know!