The Old Man And His Bible
Please come imagine with me.
Let us meet an old black man whose lived a backwards sort of life in the deep part of the woods. He’s lived there for oh so many years.
His small house has no electricity. His days are mainly dawn to dusk. He travels into the modern world to get the basics necessities for life. He’s lived a hard life and has lived off the land. For money he sells what the good earth will bring forth whether it is pecans, eggs from his chickens, or the tomatoes grown in his garden.
But he’s known all around the small nearby country-hick of a town as one who is wise. He’s read his ancient family Bible throughout for so many years. His decades of living have had a good share of trials and tribulations.
His ancient copy of the Word of God is his most loved possession. In it are the important details of his life like his ancestory, his lineage, handwritten in the opening pages by his grandmother when she was but a young woman with several young children all around. Many of the delicate pages are yellow and worn. His love for the word of God is the driving passion of his life. Some pages are more used than others. He’s memorized well the words. They’ve been pondered in his mind over and over again.
When he was young, his daddy would read by candlelight from the family Bible. He passed that legacy on by also reading it to his wife and children. He loved them and knew they needed the Lord. But those innocent times are now gone. His wife has passed several years back and his children now live with their families in the big cities.
In these late and darkening years of his life he still has a reputation around town. His reputation is that of integrity. He’s not highly productive, like the younger quick-thinking generation who know how to “make it happen” in their highly-technological world. But most know him as the old man and his Bible. He can quote passages from the Bible that are several verses long. Many parts of the Bible he memorized many years ago.
If you get a chance and see him around town and talk to him, he’ll tell you all about the Lord. Half of his sentences are Bible verses and how the Lord has been good to him all through the years.
Once when I stopped to say hello, I told him about my family and some difficult times I was going through and how I was trying to keep a good attitude about all the hard stuff. I told him I would even try to keep singing Christian songs I knew. And then this is what he told me about God:
An’ when He hear y’sing
He ben’ down wid a smi’ own ‘is kine face
an’ listen mighty ke’ful
an’ ‘e say, ‘sing own, chile, Ah hear,
an’ Ize comin’ down to deliba ya:
Ah tote dat load fo ya;
jes’ lean hawd own Me an’ de road’ll ge’ smooda by m’ by.'”
I took his advice and had a new hope in God.
After I left the old man I figured this out about him. God holds a trusted faithful soul like him close to his heart. This elderly soul means little to the world that’s always pushing the limits in all directions to make all kinds of money. He’s just an old man, not so useful anymore in practical life but he has found favor with God. The Bible says in Heaven the first shall be last, and the last shall be first.