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We Find Our Own Stories in the Bible's Stories

In late 2012 seventy-five year old Marion Shurtleff purchased a Bible in a used book store near her home in San Clemente, California. After making her purchase and returning home, she discovered a couple of folded pages tucked in the middle of the Bible.

The contents of the yellowed notebook sheets contained a child's handwriting that looked familiar. To her amazement, Shurtleff discovered her name at the top of the first page. When she looked closer she realized that she was actually reading a four-page essay she had written as a ten-year-old to earn a merit badge for the Girls Scouts in Covington, Kentucky—more than 2,000 miles from where she had just purchased the Bible.

By her own account, Shurtleff was deeply moved. "I opened the Bible and there was my name," Shurtleff said in a phone interview from her home. "I recognized my handwriting. I was shaking, literally. I was crying."

Although it remains a mystery how the essay ended up in a Bible in a used bookstore half way across the country, one thing is certain. When we look deeply into God's Word we see evidences of our lives, too. In the pages of Scripture we see individuals just like us—people who pursue faith and hope in God, people who also battle depression, doubt, lust, and pride. As we read the biblical stories about Abraham, Ruth, David, Mary, and Peter we also recognize our own life story.

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