By Vanesa Brashier, firstname.lastname@example.org
A Texas woman’s act of obedience to God by providing free Bibles is gaining interest among her community in Livingston. Elizabeth Carey, formerly of Tarkington, Texas, says 50 Bibles have been picked up since she and her husband, Tommy Norwood, started the project in June.
Carey was impressed by God to give out free Bibles to anyone who passed by her house on the 7500 block of E. FM 942 in Livingston, so she had her husband build a church-shaped box. On a shelf under the church are free, plastic-wrapped Bibles – New and Old Testament, and paper and pens that people can use to leave notes or prayer requests.
“My husband Tommy asked me if I had any honey-dos while he was home, and this was the top of the list. He laughed but helped me. The best part was that he started to get excited about it, too, and he thought of putting the crosses in the windows,” she said. “We made a deal about my ‘projects’ years ago. He makes it sturdy and I make it ‘purdy.'”
When asked why she was compelled to start the project, Carey said with a laugh, “God. I’m a Christ follower first and a hermit second. I’m supposed to share the gospel, so this was my loophole.”
The inspiration for the box came during one of her walks and talks with God.
“I walk a lot and pray a lot and sometimes God gives me ideas, and I say, ‘Really? Awkward!’ and He impresses upon me, ‘Yes, really!’ Twice I’ve even seen a white dove swoop around me on my walks during some talks with Him,” she said. “I’ve learned to listen, no matter how crazy or lame it seems to some. He always takes care of me and encourages me at just the right moment.”
As she has gotten older, Carey has learned to care less about what others think of her and more about what God thinks of her actions. However, she hopes others in need of encouragement and a ray of hope will find that in a Bible.
“The best part of this is I’ve had other people telling me that they are going to build their own little boxes for doing the same. I buy the Bibles from Dollar Tree, which is great because they are already wrapped in plastic,” she said.
The Bibles need to be weather-proof and should be placed in a sturdy box that is far enough from the road to not be a hazard to people.
“Beyond that, talk to God and ask Him for inspiration, and have fun with it. Most people have something around their houses they can modify to use. Also, don’t let your kids talk you out of it. One of mine was afraid she would get teased, and she did, but then the next day some other kids told her it was cute and they were going to get some Bibles out of it,” Carey said. “So now she’s on board, too.”
Her advice: if people are ugly about it, pray for them.
“By far, people have been absolutely lovely about it,” Carey said. “God was right.”