We didn’t recognize Bob Everhart’s Bible because his name was embossed in gold on the cover. It wasn’t. We knew Bob’s Bible by the duct tape that held it together.
Bob brought the Bible to Sunday school, Bible study and the Tuesday evening pastor’s class. He read it at home. He used it. He used it so hard and so often that the cover began to fall off.
So he bound it with duct tape. And he continued to use it and use it until the tape itself began to wear and fray.
The pages are dog-eared. There are marginal notations all over them—some academic and others related to daily life. Bob penned in his own comments and questions. His fingers and thumbs darkened many of the pages he’d turned time and again.
Bob’s Bible—the Duct Tape Bible—became something of an icon at his memorial service earlier this year. We used it as our processional Bible.
When we read the lessons from it, there seemed to be a message-within-the-message: “This is the word of God, which today we hear in a special way because it comes to us from the pages of a Bible that belonged to a person who was profoundly transformed by the word.”
Others saw symbolism even in the repair job. Just as duct tape is used to bind brokenness, so, too, does the word of God bind human brokenness. And so, too, did Bob spend his life fixing, mending and putting back together things in life that were falling apart.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers