Sacred words

Something that I noticed would come up from time-to-time in the Church groups I used to a part of was the number of Bibles we often had. Middle-class church-going Westerners frequently have several. Some people buy a new Bible once every few years. Others buy one when the current one starts falling apart (it happens). Or the church changes its standard translation. Or the print is getting a bit small now.

Christians in the West are not taught to take care of their physical Bible, either. I’m guessing this is largely because it’s so easy to just buy another. Not like Muslims are taught to treasure their Koran (and how many have lovingly hand-made covers). I was particularly struck by this fact some years ago. A family from our church had moved to Turkey to do mission work. At this point they were back for a few weeks, providing some updates and taking a break. One of the things they told us was that they saw Muslims do not put their Koran on the floor.

It is a respect thing. I mean, why would you normally put a book on the floor? I only do at home if I’ve literally got nowhere else to put it, and even then, it’s going to be limited to my bedroom and maybe the armchair where I read.

But Church-goers put their Bible on the floor in church all the time.

I decided at that point I wasn’t going to do that anymore.

That was a good ten years ago. To my knowledge, I often stopped myself putting my Bible on the floor, particularly in the first few months. Now-a-days, of course, I often don’t even know where my Bibles are. Even if I did read it regularly (which I don’t), I have access to hundreds of translations via my Smartphone. And that almost never gets left on the floor, either!

Being Pagan is quite different. For me personally, the closest I get to a sacred book is a personal Book Of Shadows. And for me, part of that is on my laptop computer, and another is a bag full of loose-leaf material. Morever, it’s just not sacred like a Bible would be sacred. Still, I take care of the items I hold special. I try to not leave them on the floor for no good reason, for instance.



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