I’m not sure if schools are still allowed to do this sort of thing anymore but when I was grade 5 someone dropped off a box of little red hand held bibles. It was optional to take one and not everyone did – but I took one.
It was the new testament and over the course of many nights I read it from one cover to the other. When my mom would come into my room I would hide it under my pillow. I dont know why I did that. My mom made me show her what I was reading and told me I didn’t have to hide that, but I did. Why did I feel shy about reading the bible infront of my Anglican mother. I would read it in secret, it felt private and I would feel embarrassed. Maybe because I didn’t want my mother to feel bad. I didn’t want her to know that I felt I was lacking something. I didn’t want to make her feel like I thought we were living a lesser life, that we should be more, that this life wasn’t enough.
But I did want more…and less. I wanted less breaking up their fights, less calling the cops, less smelling drugs and alcohol, less visiting the battered women’s shelter, less waking up to screaming in the middle of the night, less being fearful of children’s aid taking us away while simultaneously wishing for it, less toppled down Christmas trees, less holes in the walls, less broken promises, less flying coffee cups, less death stares and silent treatments, less walking on eggshells, and less making up lies and excuses . I wanted more of whatever would replace all of that.
This little red book marked a pivotal change in my life and the beginning of over a decade of spiritual searching and seeking awnser to find peace for the life I was living. No one could have guessed at that moment I would be where I am now, but I’m not sure I would be here today if not for that little red bible.