Yesterday I went for a run, over to the inlaws house. It was a beautifyul day. A little warm for a run, and I am no longer trained these days, so it was more like a long walk with some running breaks, but it was great to be out and I got some good exercise.
My route took me though a very nice parkway along a busy road. Lots of paths, a man-made lake with families of geese or ducks or whatever they were. Trees and gardens and benches. It is all quite lovely. As I was running along, I saw a piece of paper on the ground. This park is very nicely kept, so it looked out of place. I saw a garbage can up ahead, so I figured I’d be a good Samaritan and throw away the paper. I got to the paper and used it as an excuse to slow down again. I bent over and picked it up. There was another, similar piece of paper up ahead, so I grabbed that one too. Just as I crumpled them up and started running toward the trash can, I looked at them. They were pages torn from a Bible.
Well, now what, I thought. I can’t throw Bible pages in the trash. That’s just wrong. But I was facing the prospect of another 15 minutes of running, dripping sweat, with no pockets to shove them in, and even if I did bring them home, what then? So I tossed them in the garbage.
There is definitely something wrong with throwing books, parts of books, and especially THAT book in the garbage. There was guilt. There is guilt. Add that to the list of other things that I’m going to hell for.
What I want to know, is how those pages got there. Did someone’s well-loved Bible finally fall apart in the wind while they were reading it in the peace and calm of the park, watching the lake? Was it a little old lady who just couldn’t chase the pages? Or was it some hoodlums who broke into (or stole a car) that had a Bible in it and tore apart the book while they joy-rided down the highway, tossing the pages out the window? I’m thinking if it was the latter, they are ahead of me in the line-up at the fiery gates, and I have a bit of hope that my garbaging Bible parts might be mitigated by the fact that I was trying to do my part to keep the park clean.
Of course, a few steps past the garbage can where I gently placed the pages, I saw another one. This one I didn’t pick up. Maybe someone else will find it, read it, become a believer and be saved. It might all be worth it. Maybe the violent thunderstorm last night was Someone’s way of telling me I did right (or wrong). What would you have done?