A GOOD FRIEND

MY EARLIEST IMPRESSION of the Bible was that it must be the biggest book in the world. When we visited the grandparents each year, I usually found time to measure the huge gray volume sitting on its own special table in the front room, to check if it truly was six inches thick, ten inches wide, and fourteen inches long. Grandma referred to the Bible pretty often, and always made sure my brother and I could still recite the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes. Then she'd want us to talk about what new Bible stories we'd read. Once she asked, "What's the best thing about the Bible?" I said, "Well, it's mine," mainly because I'd just received a new one for Christmas! I remember how she smiled at that.

As it turned out, however, for many years the Bible actually has seemed like mine, a good friend. The more I've read, the more I've felt close to the people in the stories—ordinary folks—shepherds, the rich and the poor, fishermen, farmers, children, those who listen to God, and many who have had amazing experiences.

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