Mysterious Ways: The Good Book in the Right Hands

After 20 years, a stolen Bible finds its way home.

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- Posted on Mar 19, 2013

Holy Bible

Butterflies fluttered in my stomach as I prepared to stand before my audience at a weekend religious retreat. Fifty ladies waiting to hear me speak on the importance of studying God’s word. I gathered my notes and picked up my Bible as I entered the room. Of all of the Bibles I owned, this was my favorite. I opened the book and a familiar name written inside the front cover caught my eye: Karen Baker.

I had no idea who Karen Baker was, but I’d wondered about her plenty since I’d found the Bible twenty years ago at an estate sale, wedged on a bookshelf between two novels. There was nothing remarkable about its appearance, but something compelled me to pick it up. Opening it, I noticed notes in the margins. Then I saw the name in the front. Who was Karen Baker? I wondered. Why would Karen’s family sell a Bible she clearly loved? I glanced at the sign above the shelf: ALL BOOKS, $1.00. A bargain. This Bible might just get tossed out if I don’t buy it, I thought. I hated that idea. I handed a crumpled bill to the estate sale coordinator. Maybe Karen Baker’s family wouldn’t give it a good home, but I would.

I cleared my throat and began my lecture. I talked about the various ways of study that could be used to learn about God’s word, and as I relaxed I spoke candidly, drifting from my outline. “The very best way to study,” I continued, “is the Bible. This is my favorite Bible, that I bought many years ago at an estate sale.” I held it up for the group to see. “And the previous owner had lovingly written her thoughts as she read. Her name was written inside the front cover! Someone named Karen Baker!”

“That’s my daughter’s Bible!” a woman blurted out. The session came to a standstill. “Are you sure?” I asked.

She examined the Bible closely. “Yes!” she said. “I bought this for her more than twenty years ago! She lost it when her home was burglarized.”

Without another word being spoken, I walked over to Karen’s mom and placed the Bible in front of her. “Please give it back to her,” I said.

I had no idea who Karen Baker was, but God did. And he guided my purchase those many years ago, and then guided her mom and me to the weekend retreat so Karen could get her Bible back.

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