Few things in this life are timeless. Change is constant and constantly present. Even things such as a classic pant suit undergo adjustments to fit into the acceptable list of fashionable attire, and flowers that have been around since the beginning of time are being arranged, dyed and tinted to appear more "unique", though to me the beauty of an untouched rose is truly timeless.
This last month as I've been reading Psalms and other books of the Bible, I've had these images flash in my head of all the hundreds of thousands of people who have read the same books, chapters and verses. I would imagine that Psalms 186 of my Bible is not the only one that is tear stained, or that the pages of the book of Romans in my Bible are not the only pages falling out of the binding. I know I'm not the only one who totes her Bible to coffee houses, or to a park on a sunny afternoon.
I'm not sure why, but knowing this information makes me feel less alone in this life. Lately I have had images flash in my head of an abused and battered woman who appears to have the "perfect everything" retreats to a closest and shuts the door; knowing that is the only place she feels safe. She reaches for the light switch, sits on a box and opens her Bible to Psalms 46:1. "God is our refuge, a very present help in trouble" is what she speaks out loud in between sobs, over and over again until she has enough strength to endure the next physical blow of her husband and assault on her spirit.
The next image flashed into my head takes us back to the 1800's. A black slave who has just seen his wife raped by his owners son, simply because he did not work hard enough that day in the fields. In His sweat and tears, he breaks down on his hands and knees and quotes scripture that he has memorized, because for his owner to know he can read would be a threat on his life and the lives of his family. "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Luke 23:24.
A young woman who has applied and applied and applied to medical school to follow the dream and desire to become a pediatrician, only to be rejected over five times in three years. With the fifth rejection, she pulls out a little encouragement card that was given to her by a lady in her Bible study. "For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord. 'Plans to proper you and not to harm you; a plan to give you a hope and a future.' " -Jeremiah 29:11.
The missionary who is being held captive in a jail cell after being caught leading a worship service in her home. As she holds the back of her head after it was beat down with the butt of a gun, she pulls the tattered pages of Romans out of her shoe, and bending on her knees she reads the truth of Romans 8:28. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."
The woman who met an abortion survivor at her work place; satan reeling her into pain, guilt and condemnation, because she herself had had an abortion as a teenager, a choice that she has never revealed to a living soul, but one that has haunted her while awake and asleep. With the pill bottle in her hand and the intent to take her own life, the Father whispers to her "Behold, I am making all things new! These words are reliable and true."- Revelation 21:1
So many stories, so much pain. So many copies in so many translations, so many countries and different places in time... But this one thing remains timeless and true: "...And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."-Matthew 28:20.