Twenty years ago my grandfather gave me the bible he was given when he left the Netherlands to immigrate to Canada. This bible was given to him by a group of fellow bakers from a Christian Bakers Union (one of whom did the artistic inscription with all of union members' names).
For the past few years I have been very slowly reading through the psalms at night — stopping as a verse or phrase that catches my attention and meditating on it as I fall asleep. Whenever I choose a phrase I make a small horizontal pencil mark beside it.
After doing this for years I suddenly came across a pencil mark that was made before me — a vertical mark! Scanning ahead there were many of them — each highlighting a particular verse or phrase that caught the attention of either my grandfather or grandmother! I was quite moved by the discovery — here I am doing the exact same thing my forbears did.
So, now I've decided to continue my evening ritual by meditating on the already-marked verses. Whenever I read the words I think about Oma or Opa reading the words. When I pray in response to the verse I imagine them doing the same... which really hit home last night when I read the last half of Psalm 79:13 — "We will shew forth thy praise to all generations."
For generations God has been faithful to our family. Like me and my parents, I am sure that my grandparents prayed for their children and grandchildren every night. Even as I am deeply committed to showing forth God's praise to all generations, so too were they. Feeling this shared passion — across generations — was deeply moving.
As I put my horizontal pencil mark over the mark of my grandparents I felt like I was an answered prayer.