I was not expecting this much drama last Saturday night.
We arrived at a restaurant around 8pm with our friends the Martins, Gunthers, and a few others. Everyone was exhausted after a long day at the homeschool conference, followed by tear down and pack up.
Before eating, my dad wanted to double check that his Bibles got packed – just for peace of mind. You see, my dad carries three Bibles and his Strong’s Concordance in a black case almost everywhere he goes. He is extremely protective of this case because he has over 20 years of notes in them. Normally he always carries this case himself so he can know firsthand that it is in a safe spot. But since he was packing the trailer, he agreed to let Sarah carry it out to the van.
However, when dad looked for the case in the van, it wasn’t there. He looked in the trailer. No case.
“I don’t have my Bibles!” dad told me in an urgent tone of voice, “we need to go back to the convention center!”
My dad and I jumped in Haley’s SUV and she drove us back to the convention center.
How could we not have not packed Dad’s Bibles? I wondered in disbelief.
I called Sarah. She explained, “I remember taking Dad’s Bibles out to the van, but I was carrying a bunch of things and I suppose it’s *possible* I would have set the case down on the curb as I was trying to put it all in. But I made sure to lock the van, and I don’t know how I could have left the case on the curb!” she said.
But we couldn’t come up with any other explanation! If Sarah really did leave it on the curb, than we knew it was likely stolen. People would assume it’s a laptop case. The parking lot outside the convention center has had so much theft that it even has signs up, warning people to lock their vehicles. And with so many people walking through the parking lot to the ballgame next door, it could have been quickly spotted and taken.
It’s hard for me to put into words the importance of these Bibles to our whole family. They aren’t just Bibles, they are basically my dad’s life notes. Within their pages was the content my dad was intending to draw from for many future writing projects. They represent two decades of Bibles study thoughts. They contain tiny pencil script on almost every page; my dad writes thoroughly on the margins of all his Bibles.
Why would the Lord allow these Bibles to be lost? I began praying for a miracle.
We arrived at the convention center and dad began looking through garbage bins and talking to convention workers. He even talked with “lost and found” at the Rangers stadium next door. No success. Our hearts were beginning to sink.
We arrived back at the restaurant with the disappointing news. Apparently the dinner had turned into more of the atmosphere of a funeral party, as everyone felt so bad for my dad.
It was about 9:45pm now. I went in to eat while dad stayed outside to look again through the van and trailer. After this final search, he became convinced they were gone.
I went outside again and found dad sitting on the curb in the dark, with his head in his hands, praying. This was his most valuable earthly possession, beside people. It hurt so much to see my dad lose something that was so costly to him — and to all of us!
If it was equipment or cash, no big deal! That’s replaceable. But Dad’s Bibles are priceless to us!
I couldn’t eat. Dad came in to say goodbye to everyone, and we all just sort of stood together without saying much. We appreciated our friends’ understanding and sympathy. We prayed together, and dad prayed that the enemy would not have a victory in this.
Lalo said, “Well, I’m still optimistic that they are in the van somewhere!”
But I knew that my mom had looked in the van, and my mom can find anything. They couldn’t be there! However, I was hopeful we’d find them behind a tree somewhere, or, I thought, maybe someone would dump it on the side of the road once they found out they were Bibles not laptops?
When we got back in the van, I told the family, “I think we should send out a huge prayer email and pray for a miracle! They have to be somewhere in this area!”
“Let’s go back to the convention center,” my mom told my dad.
What else could we do? It was now about 10:30pm. We looked in more garbage cans, and dad looked in the trailer, again.
And that is when he uncovered the mystery.
On the way to the restaurant he had to stop suddenly, but he had forgotten to turn on the trailer brakes. This caused several cases of books to tumble down. When my dad moved all of these cases … there was the black case, underneath them.
I could barely believe it. What a relief. Praise the Lord!
It was such an emotional experience for all of us, including our friends. Haley wrote, “When I left I got in the car and I cried too, I felt so bad for him and all of you.” Awww …
No one remembers putting the case in the trailer, but … there it was! Our memories can be deceptive and unreliable. Or, as one friend texted my dad, “Maybe you had misplaced them and some angels snuck them into your trailer.” [smile]
“If Stephen would have been here, none of this would have happened,” mom said. “First, he would have been packing the trailer so you wouldn’t have been as stressed. Then …” and she continued to list some other reasons why.
“Well, it’s not Stephen’s fault we lost the Bibles!” I mentioned. [smile]
But we did all know that Stephen, our family Sherlock Holmes, would probably have figured out the problem right away. (I wonder how many other tragedies our family would have experienced in the last 10 years had Stephen not been traveling with us!)
“Well I guess the moral of the story is to not carry your Bibles around anymore,” Stephen told dad with a smile after we told him the whole story.
“I already made that pretty clear,” my mom said. [smile]
The verse that comes to mind is Psalm 112 … “Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who delights greatly in His commandments…”
The love of the Word is what marks a man of God and a fantastic father! <3