Originally published in Christian Today
Deborah Savely was devastated when a beloved Bible fell out of her backpack over 40 years ago.
Sure, she could have gone to the store and bought another one quite easily, but this particular Bible had special meaning, having been bought by her father in 1961 to give to her on her seventh birthday.
On the inside leaf was lovingly inscribed: “Presented to Deborah Savely by Mother and Daddy. June 1961.”
A decade later Savely’s father passed away and the Bible became even more treasured, as she would frequently open it to see once again the inscription handwritten by her late father.
It was something she took with her everywhere and she read it every day when she headed to Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin.
But one day in 1974,the unthinkable happened and the beloved Bible fell out of her backpack.
“It was like a piece of my heart just broke off,” she told USA Today. “A part of me was gone.”
The chances of ever finding back the Bible were slim but some 40 years later, Deborah received a call she never expected to.
Her Bible had been found by Vol State staffer Betty Gibson. After a tornado blew through the campus, she had gone around collecting the scattered belongings of students and staff. In amongst the items she picked up was Savely’s Bible. It was the inscription on the inside that made her think she had to get it back to its owner.
“It just had to mean something to somebody,” she told USA Today.
Vol State staffer Amber Regan got involved in the search for Savely and after trawling through the web, managed to track her down at her work place in Lebanon.
Savely admits tears were shed when she heard the news, and it was an emotional moment for her and her mother when they went to Vol State to collect it in person.
“My daddy’s infused in that Bible,” said Savely. “Whenever I lay my hand on the page I can feel that big old hand of his come over mine.”
Regan said it was a “blessing” to be part of the reunion. “A Bible’s special,” she said.