The Bible Under My Pillow

When I was around ten, I was sent to a Shriner’s hospital to “fix” my paralysis in my left arm, from polio I’d contracted as a baby. In the 1960s, those hospitals were run like orphanages. I was scared, and spent three months away from home, enduring major surgery. Salt Lake City, Utah was far from my home in Yuma, Arizona, so I received no family visits while living on a ward with eleven other girls. The only thing that got me through was the white leather Bible my grandmother gave me. I kept my Bible under my pillow and at night, God came out and sang to me.

I still don’t know the how or the why of it, but the song comforted me. I experienced God in a way that gave me strength, although I didn’t tell anybody about it. Over the years, I’ve wandered away from the church and even God at times, in spite of the gift He gave me as a little kid in a strange hospital, far from home. Because life sometimes chews us up and spits us out, I’ve doubted and questioned whether God loved me or anyone else. But just as I get to the edge of rejecting my faith altogether, God bursts onto the scene and sings. And I wonder how I ever doubted. I’m no expert theologian or even a Bible scholar, just a person who’s been through a lot of stuff and yet my faith is stronger than ever. I think each of us can hear God sing to us, if we only listen. Maybe the song sounds different for you, maybe your troubles would make my life seem storybook. I only know that the more I run from God, the more hotly God pursues me. When I listen for the still small voice, I hear that faint song.

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