A Father’s Love Letter Comes Full Circle

by The Gideons International on February 19, 2016

The Gideon-placed hotel Bible that inspired a father to write a special love letter to his son.

The Gideon-placed hotel Bible that inspired a father to write a special love letter to his son.

On the outside, it looked like one of millions of other hotel Bibles placed by The Gideons. However, when Rodney Jones, a Nashville-area Gideon opened it, he discovered this copy of God’s Word contained an extra message–one that would bring him and many others to tears.

It was a Saturday evening and Jones was in his guest room at a motel in Gatlinburg, TN. He was preparing for a message he would be delivering as a guest speaker at a church service the next morning. He needed a Scripture and opened the nightstand drawer to retrieve the Gideon-placed hotel Bible.

When he opened the Scripture, he discovered someone had written a note on the inside back cover. It read:

Dedicated to the memory of My Precious Son, Christopher, Age 4, who departed this life to be born in Heaven, April 20, 1992.

Dear Christopher, it’s hard to believe it’s been almost seven years since you died. It seems almost like a lifetime ago. I miss you still and know I always will. I will miss all the fun we would have had together and perhaps Cameron, your nephew, will fulfill some of those lost memories. You would like Cameron, He’s terrific, and you would be very proud of your sister Kim and Kevin. They have turned out so well. I know you know all about what’s going on, but it’s not the same as having you here. I will see you again one day and maybe then we can catch up on lost time. I still love you with all my heart and will never forget you.

Love, Dad 4/10/99.

As Jones read the letter, tears began rolling down his cheeks. He kept the Bible, and immediately put in a request for a replacement copy for the room.

He began carrying that copy of God’s Word to churches where he visited to guest speak on behalf of The Gideons International. As he shared testimonies with congregations of lives changed after encountering a Scripture placed by The Gideons, he included the story of how he believed this copy of God’s Word provided comfort and peace to a father who lost a son.

One day, he was talking with a pastor of a church where he was planning to speak. He began telling the story of this Bible. After he read the letter penned by the dad, Jones looked up to see an expression of amazement on the pastor’s face.

“I know who wrote that,” the pastor said. “He and his wife attend this church!”

That Sunday, Jones stood in the front of the church, knowing that the father who penned the letter was sitting in the audience.

As Jones shared the story and read the father’s note, many in the congregation began to recognize the names and the events in the story. Afterwards, the pastor announced that this note was, in fact, penned by the father in the audience. By that time, most of the congregation was in tears.

At the conclusion of the church service, the father and his wife talked with Jones, thanking him for sharing the story, and encouraging him to continue sharing the story in hope that others may find comfort from it as well.

Edited by The Gideons International

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Helen February 19, 2016 at 5:17 pm

Pretty much every time I read one of the Gideon blessings, it’s always something brand new for me to learn of our awesome God Who has a trillion ways to bring a lost soul to Himself. However, this time it is even more of an OVER THE TOP learning because I see how the Lord blessed this father and his wife by revealing to them how many more times this letter, written, with a heart full of missing his son, yet knowing that he and his wife will see him again – to all the hundreds and more who have heard the story read and they, intern, were blessed and passed it along to others etc. All these precious souls, some very possibly not yet saved, gave and will continue to give praise and honor to our Lord Who for His great love in the actions of His people as in this story has this story repeated again and again!!
I almost always seek to use the Gideon Bible whenever we are traveling – I look for notations by previous readers, and sometimes, I do so as well – always praying that someone else will be blessed as I am at the moment of my writing.
Thank you Gideons, one and all, for all doing the works that the Lord has plans for you each day – thank you for your faithfulness to His leading. God bless you!!!

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Donald February 21, 2016 at 1:32 am

What a wonderful testimony of God’s grace.

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CHARLES SANCHEZ March 24, 2016 at 11:38 am

How can I get those paper requests for Bibles to be placed in hotels in the name of a loved one who has died?

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Randall March 24, 2016 at 7:25 pm

My wife and I own a cabin in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee which we rent to tourists. When we purchased it last year, I was delighted to find Gideon placed Bibles in all the bedrooms and also in the living room. Our guests are literally surrounded by the Word of God. This story tells yet again the awesome power and comfort we find in the Bible and we are proud to support the continuing work of Gideons International.

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Denise March 25, 2016 at 4:26 am

Wow. What a testimony to the fact that when we share how God is working in our life, even if it is a struggle and even if we don’t have all the answers, it can touch lives-sometimes more than we will ever realize in this lifetime!

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