Lydia is 11 years old now.
I’m guessing she must have been seven or eight when she went a little bit crazy with a green highlighter on the pages of her Bible. She marked up page after page, line after line, in her first “big people” Bible. It happened a few weeks after she got it.
She must have done her artwork under the covers, after we tucked her in and turned out the light. She could read by the glow of her night-light, I suppose, and maybe with the little numbers on her digital clock. Those numbers cast a soft, red glow from her night stand.
And while we thought she was sleeping, she had flipped pages of Scripture, marking thousands of words in green.
I asked Lydia later why she did that, why she marked all those words in green. And she said it was because of what I’d told her.
“I watched how you marked up your Bible with a green highlighter, and when I asked you why, you said it’s because you liked to mark your favorite parts.”
Her favorite part was … well, all of it, I guess.
I’ve marked my Bible plenty over the years. I’ve highlighted favorite passages, a psalmist’s beautiful turn-of-a-phrase, some bit of Scripture that pulled me out of a pit. God knows I’ve cried big, fat tears while streaking that green highlighter across the page.
But what Lydia had done? It was different. She had marked about half of Exodus, huge sections in Matthew, whole paragraphs in Genesis and a chunk of Scripture in Acts that she’s particularly fond of, seeing how her name is in the sixteenth chapter.
But it’s still God. It’s His Story.
And now? It’s all green.
I don’t know. Maybe I’m overthinking, over-spiritualizing, over-sentimentalizing things. I’ve been known to do that. I mean, she could have been just another little kid who got a little bit crazy with a highlighter, a kid who wanted to see what it would feel like to mark page after page.
Except that she said it wasn’t like that at all.
She said she did it because of this –
Because of the story.
“The story is my favorite part. How it all goes together,” she told me. “And when I started marking words, I didn’t know how to stop.”
BIO: Jennifer Dukes Lee (@dukeslee) is an award-winning storyteller and a grace dweller, blogging about faith at JenniferDukesLee.com. She is author of the book, Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval–and Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes (Tyndale House Publishers, 2014). Jennifer and her husband live on the Lee family farm near Inwood, Iowa, with their two daughters.