An Impulse Purchase Proves an Inspired Gift

A family's prayer is answered when their beloved Bible is returned to them.

Posted in , Oct 18, 2011

The German Bible that proved the answer to a family's prayer

I browsed the garage sale, hunting for my usual treasures—postcards, rocks and travel books. But what caught my eye wasn’t something I’d ever collected: two pulpit-sized Bibles.

They were remarkable: 130 years old, in mint condition with opulent, bronze-embellished covers. One was written in English, the other in German.

I flipped through their large full-color pages. In the German Bible there was a family history. It seemed sad that cherished information had been left behind. I bought both Bibles, even though I didn’t speak a word of German.

Years later, my wife, Mary, and I downsized. I sold a lot of pieces I’d collected, including the English Bible. No one bought the German one.

Then, that summer, my friend Dan and I got to talking about faith and his years as a seminary student. It dawned on me that he might enjoy the Bible. I offered it as a gift.

“Wow, thanks!” Dan said. “You know what’s funny? I’m fluent in German.”

After Christmas, Dan called.

“Duane,” he said, somewhat excitedly. “It’s about the Bible.”

“Don’t tell me,” I joked. “You sold it for ten thousand dollars.”

“Better,” he said. “The kids showed it to their grandparents at Christmas dinner. They’re German and they want to thank you for finding their family’s Bible.”


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