Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Civil War Bible Part 2: Dogeared pages

While doing paper repair on books, I often encounter “dog-ears,” those pages turned up or down at the corners. Did the corner get bent by accident—or was it turned down to mark a place? When mending pages, I need to be sensitive to the content of the page, not just its condition. For example, this Bible (previous post) was owned by a Civil War soldier, most likely a young man. I saw that a section on sexual purity had a turned-down corner. If I remember correctly, it was Psalm 119:9, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.”  Another page corner was turned down at Chapter 15 in the gospel of Luke, captioned “The Prodigal Son.” Family history? Perhaps a headstrong son headed off to war against his father’s wishes, or chose the “wrong” side?  I left the dogears as I found them.  A brutal, bloody war left thousands dead a century and a half ago, yet these two folded-down pages reached across the years to me and spoke of a young man's struggle to live a personal faith, with hope of reconciliation and a glad homecoming.


1 comment:

  1. Tawn, this is moving. I'm glad this came through your hands.