6: The Boomerang Bible

6: The Boomerang Bible

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and More

The Boomerang Bible

Coincidences are spiritual puns.

~G.K. Chesterton

One of my favorite pastimes is shopping at yard sales and flea markets. I never know what kind of treasures I’m going to find, whether it’s toys for my grandkids or a blouse with the price tag still attached. But one memorable summer day, I came home with something better than a bargain — I came home with a miracle.

I was at a popular flea market in my Wisconsin hometown where I was looking for some good deals on books. When I came upon a stall filled with shelves and shelves of books I was in heaven. There were so many — big books, little books, old books, new books — but something guided me to a specific one: a compact book, with a protective cover made from a brown paper grocery bag. I smiled, thinking back to all the schoolbooks I had covered with brown paper bags as a child. It was a fall tradition, sitting at the kitchen table with scissors and tape and the bags my mother had collected all summer.

Both the spine and the front of this book had a cross drawn in red marker. I slipped the brown paper off and admired the black leather cover with “Bible” stamped in gold. It was just like the Bible I had as a parochial school student. Intrigued, I started flipping through the pages. I came to the very first page of the book — a blank page that came before the title page. There, in the shaky cursive writing of a young elementary student, was my maiden name: Judy Torgerson. It took a few seconds to sink in. This didn’t just look like my Bible; this was my Bible!

My amazement quickly gave way to being mystified. Where had my book been for the last thirty or so years? What road had it traveled from parochial school to flea market?

Unfortunately, the bookseller did not have any information for me. I have warm memories of sitting at my school desk, following along as my teacher read us Bible stories. I hope that somewhere in those intervening years, the Bible helped another child’s faith grow the way mine had.

My husband was initially speechless at my find. At most flea markets, he sees me coming with my arms full of finds, ready to check out, and tries to talk me out of buying most of them. But that Bible was one purchase we both agreed on. It was the best deal of my whole life. For just a dime, my Bible was returned to me.

We’ve dubbed it the “Boomerang Bible.” I’m not letting that book out of my sight ever again! It has become a treasured family heirloom and a part of new family traditions. A few years after being reunited with my Bible, my daughter Cassandra was married, and instead of carrying a bouquet of flowers, she carried our special Bible.

~Judy Fleming

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