Lost Family Bibles Miraculously Find Their Way Home
Incredible stories of lost-and-found make the faithful think, 'This feels like Jesus Christ to me'
Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” For people of faith, the Bible is the holy word of God. It was written by humans under the divine inspiration of God. It is the powerful truth of humankind’s creation, fall, and story of redemption.
Therefore, personal Bibles tend to be incredibly valuable to their owners. Notes are written in margins. Passages may be underlined, marked or noted to highlight a particular promise from God’s word.
“I became so attached to it. I learned all the details of this woman’s life. All I ever wanted to find is somebody who would care for this and love it and treasure it.”
Recently, the New York Post featured a story about a Bible that had been lost and eventually discarded with the trash. That particular Bible was found and returned to the descendants of its original owner. A waste-disposal worker found the Bible of a woman named Ellen Aycock in the Florida Keys. He brought it to his girlfriend, Holly Skillings — who began to research the Bible’s history based on the few details she found inside.
“It consumed my life,” Skillings told The Post. “I became so attached to it. I learned all the details of this woman’s life. All I ever wanted to find is somebody who would care for this and love it and treasure it.”
Skillings was finally able to locate Franklin Nichols, the 86-year-old grandson of Ellen Aycock. She returned the Bible to Nichols and his family in hopes that it would be treasured.
Connie Crosby, a food coordinator at United Methodist Camp Wesley Pines campgrounds in Mississippi, has made a project of returning Bibles that have been left behind. In 2016 she was able to encourage a bereft Rebecca Teasley after a tragic car accident. Years earlier, Teasley's three young children and her grandmother had been killed — yet Crosby was able to return her grandmother's lost Bible to her. The Bible represented God's continuing love in the midst of tragedy.
"It was a rainy and dreary day. I was just looking for a little bit of sunshine somewhere that day when I heard about the Bible. I guess God kept it and tucked away from me. He knew 20 years down the road it was going to be important to me. His timing is always so perfect for me. My grandmother wrote a note in it that read, 'We love you,'" Teasley said.
In Kansas City, Missouri, Rhonda Thompson lost her husband's Bible after she mistakenly left it on top of her car. The Bible had served as the guestbook at his funeral. In a miraculous turn of events, Rodney Wright of the Kansas Department of Transportation found the Bible two days later while on trash duty. As it turns out, the husband had been a dear friend of his. Rodney Wright is convinced God placed him there on the side of the highway to find the Bible and return it to Thompson.
"Explain this stuff to me then, because this feels like Jesus Christ to me," Rhonda Thompson said. "No matter what, God just kept bringing it back together."
In certain Christian circles, it may be inappropriate to write in one's Bible. However, Hebrews 4:12 says: "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
Although life on earth is brief, God's plan is for eternity.
The Bible is a form of communication between God and His people. It has the power to convict at times of redemption. It is able to restore the lost. It encourages the broken-hearted with the faithfulness of God's promise for reconciliation.
Each life is but a vapor, a temporary passing into the eternity that lies ahead. Within that vapor, each person is called to live out the fulfillment of God's plan for his or her life. Each prayer that is answered should be marked with praise — noted with the confirmation of God's faithfulness as He reveals Himself in scripture. In times of trouble, one can find peace is the Psalms or Jesus' physical calming of the storm.
Noting details of one's life in his or her Bible is hardly sacrilegious. It is instead a testimony of who God is and how He fulfills His love for each individual.
The amazing story of Ellen Aycock's Bible is a story of found treasure. The history that she recorded there — the birth dates of her two children — led the Bible back to its family heritage. Rebecca Teasley was reassured of God's plan for her life when her grandmother's Bible was returned to her years after being lost at camp. Rhonda Thompson and Rodney Wright were encouraged that God is sovereign when a loved one's Bible was found.
These are all testimonies of faith, reminders that although life on earth is brief, God's plan is for eternity.
Katie Nations is a working mother of three young children. She lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.