An unusual set of circumstances prompted me to transcribe the New Testament onto 26 audio cassettes. But the unusual seems to be quite usual in our lives. Before you get to the very end of this story, you will know why I am so keen about sharing with you what happened.
There was a phone call. The voice at the other end said, “My name is Carol. My husband Greg and I just picked up one of your newsletters in town. After reading it, we are eager to meet the author.” This is the kind of surprise we like. “Come on over,” I said. I gave them directions to our house and within a few minutes they knocked on our door.
It did not take long for us to get acquainted and to realize we had a lot in common. One of the things Carol told us was that she struggled with her eyesight. She always needed to keep several different pairs of glasses in her purse. From moment to moment her ability to focus could change. This made it hard for her to read or enjoy reading. I asked if she had learned to enjoy audio books. She said, “I have tried to listen to the Bible on audio cassettes, but none of the voices so far have touched my heart. But there is something in your voice that reveals the Father's heart.”
One thing led to another. Before Greg and Carol left, I agreed to record the New Testament for them if they would provide the recording equipment. I suggested they choose the translation with which they were most comfortable. They chose “The Message,” a paraphrased version in contemporary English by Eugene Peterson.
Before settling down to do the recording, I prayed, “Lord, don't let me record your Word until my heart is clean.” One morning several months later, as I was taking a shower, these words popped out of my mouth, “I am ready, I am ready, I am ready!” And that afternoon I created the first 90-minute tape, starting with the Book of Matthew. Once I began, it took about three weeks to read and record the New Testament. What was unusual is that the Word became more alive for me than ever before. At times my knees and hands shook to the point that it was hard to hold the microphone. It felt as if the Word of God leapt into my spirit and stayed there.
Thus far I have made two sets of tapes for Greg and Carol and one set for my son John. As I was making the set for my son, it happened. And here is what happened. I suddenly knew within my heart that I could give no greater gift, leave no greater legacy for my children, than the Word of God in my own voice. Oh, I could buy a “Loaf of Bread” at the store, but to bake that “Loaf of Bread” myself for my children, grandchildren, and friends would mean so much more to them than a generic loaf. Yes, your voice, my voice, our voices are unique blueprints of who we are. Whenever we hear the voices of those we love, do the people not become wonderfully alive and present?
Please consider giving the gift of Jesus in you by baking that “Loaf of Bread.” God's Word will always be fresh and radiantly alive that way for those who love you. Your own homemade bread tastes far better than the store-bought generic kind. Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. He that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35). Bake that “Loaf of Bread” while the oven still works.
Peter D. Laue