In the midst of Hurricane Irma, I shared our how can you have hope? disaster story (you must read that post first for this post to make sense)! I tried to keep it as short as possible and not start another novel. As promised, I wrote “part two” to share the miraculous gift we received in the midst of our tragedy.
My husband only mourned one thing after our house fire… his Mom’s family Bible. Remember those huge Bibles that families used to display on the coffee table?! You see, his beloved Mom was taken from this world by cancer too early. She died before he and I met. That Bible was special to her and she’d given it to him before she died.
Disaster story surprise
The day after our fire, the hubs and his brother (also a State Trooper) decided to go snoop around the ashes of our former residence. They confirmed when they returned that everything was indeed gone. Except….. one solitary box – covered in ashes but not completed destroyed.
Huh? Yep, smack dab in the middle of a completely destroyed home was a medium-sized box that was charred but salvageable!
Y’all. When I peeled back the top of the box, I couldn’t believe it. This was the most important box I had packed and stored in the guest room. The bottom of it was filled with our marriage license, wedding album, baby books, certificates, photos of kid “firsts,” and important snapshots. All the photos were charred around the edges (and some melted together), but the images were clear as could be.
Guess what was at the very top of that box – laying above all of these important documents and memories? Yep. My hubby’s family Bible! It was as if that Bible had been protecting all of those cherished memories below it. The outside was almost burnt to a crisp BUT every word of the Lord inside the Bible – from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22 – was PERFECT!
Looking up to see the smile on my husband’s face is a moment I won’t ever forget.
God’s perfect word
What happened next was incredible to watch. My husband had always been a bit timid about sharing his faith. He was a guy that’s good as gold but was intimidated by that. In the days that followed our tragedy, people would show up at the doorstep with looks of pity on their faces. I watched my husband invite them in and tell them to cheer up because he had a miracle to show them.
The hubs showed that charred Bible with the lily-white pages to every single person that came over. You’d never know that we’d lost everything that we owned just days before because God gave us a joy that we’d never known. God and His word are treasures to me.
Kids in our community gave up their nice game systems and expensive toys when they heard that our kids had lost everything right after Christmas. Because the Georgia State Patrol apparently emailed every post in the state, we received clothes from all over Georgia. Our church took up a love offering for us the next Sunday night.
I could go on and on about how friends, family, and perfect strangers rallied around us in our time of need, and the gratefulness I will always have for my state and “Mayberry-ish” hometown.
That old Bible is a visual reminder today that God not only provided for us, but He allowed us to see Him work through regular folks in our little community. Some that we knew and some that were friends that we just hadn’t met yet. God’s love is an incredible thing – especially when it comes from those around us.
Our disaster story confirms something else too. I can honestly say that there is no place I’d rather live than small-town America!