Had a flashback that was unexpected. This morning on the university campus, there were men outside the buildings handing out Gideon Bibles.
Now my history with the Gideon folk hasn’t always been shining. As a public school principal, we had some distribution issues. While the vast majority of men were congenial there were a few not as willing to be directed to where they could give out Bibles. Sitting in the pews I’ve heard a few testimonies that went on too long. But those have all but ended in most churches. I’m not crazy about their stance with women who are only able to be associate members and only if they are married to a Gideon.
But the nice part was I had a flashback to my Grandpa Blumer. He was a simple man with strong convictions. He would often “engage” the pastor in their interpretation of the scripture. He did prison visits right up to the time of his death. And he was a Gideon.
Grandpa had trouble with a leg that related to a rendezvous with a bull. When we’d take his old 1950 Chevy pickup down the road a 2×4 would be placed on the gas pedal and braced against the seat – an adapted cruise control. He’d take us kids on tractor rides and let us shoot his .22 rifle at whatever we could find. He slicked over his hair and looked comfortable in overalls or a suit.
The painting entitled Grace hung over the kitchen table. Minus the beard, that painting encapsulates Grandpa Blumer. A devote man who always had a Bible near. Grandpa lived simply but was passionate about certain things. One of those things was making sure scriptures were available to others, so he was proud to be a Gideon.
This morning as I accepted the Bible from a man on the sidewalk and I said, “My grandpa was a Gideon.” He asked his name and sent me on my way with a blessing and a Gideon Bible flashback.