Grace appears just when you need it.
I received a slip of paper in my mail slot at school. A package was being held for me at the post office. No info on the sender or the contents. Just a note to bring my i.d. and come pick it up.
The man in the post office slid the box across the counter. The return address was of a dear friend and former parishioner, but I had no idea what he had sent. He had written on the customs label “religious book.”
I had to wait until I got home to open it. The knife slit the packing tape and released the smell of leather. I saw the red cover and gold-edged pages and thought it might be a Bible. Not a surprising thing to send to a priest, but it seemed like a lot of trouble for Bill to go through, just to make sure I had one here.
I was surprised when I opened the front cover and saw my name, in my own writing, inside. On the reverse side of the page was a note, “From Mom and Dad. For Confirmation Class. 1977.” Bill had tucked a card inside: “. . . I found the Bible that your parents gave you on your Confirmation and felt that it may have been left by accident. If so, here it is. Hope this finds you in good health and top spirits. . .”
What a gift to be remembered–by this friend, generous enough to go to the time and expense to send the book–and to be re-membered, reconnected with this tangible reminder of my parents and their care for me shown by making sure I was confirmed. The Bible was for my class, part of my preparation, not a present once I was done, a way to root me in learning the Bible, which itself connects us with God and people of faith throughout time and the world.