Posted by: Mark | January 8, 2009

Well that wasn’t quite what I expected

This sort of sums up how my mood has been lately:

I got a really rad text from a friend today. He must have been overcome by a moment of wonderful joy and grace, because he texted to pretty much all his friends listed in his phone a message of gratitude, including a bible passage to look up. In the suave world of pluralistic and agnostic San Francisco such a move might be looked down upon, but I dug it, as I tend to respect any type of wholesome and non-aggressive statements of faith. I happen to teach at a religious school and was able to find a bible in my classroom pretty easily to look up the passage he cited: Philippians 4:6.

The text of it reads “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Pretty beautiful, especially after feeling the major rush of being back in school after a mellow break. But unfortunately my appreciation of the quote was not quite what I had hoped for. In opening the Bible inscribed in the inside cover I found a whole slew of notes that students had written to each other over the years that this bible had been recycled through the school and different students that totally dimmed the experience. Here’s how it went.

[written in purple ink in cursive]
Hey buddy what’s up. I’m siked for the weekend, we just gotta get through this stupid class first. From your best buddy.

[below that, written in black ink in all-caps]
Who the hell are you calling best buddy? I thought your best buddy was your hand.

[below that, in chicken scratch in pencil]
Who are either of you two jerks? And how come I’m stuck with the hand-me-down bible of a bunch of losers?

[below that, black ink, all-caps, but didn’t look the same as from two above]

[below that, blue ink in neat writing]
All of you suck.

Reading conversations like that on the walls of bathroom stalls is one thing, but not quite sure about how great it was to find it on a bible. So yeah, it was awesome that my friend sent that text out, but the experience of it wasn’t quite what I had expected.



  1. You did not attend a Jesuit, all-boys high school. The things written on your bible are tame in comparison to the MURALS I saw scrawled all over all sorts of holy books.

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