Feb 29, 2012, 1:01 AM EDT
By Bill Miller
All my author friends are going to curse on me, but when I buy a book to take on a trip or up into the tree stand these days it’s almost always from a local store called “Half Price Books.” It’s kind of like a pay-as-you-go-library, but you don’t have to worry about due dates or late fees, and when you find a book you really like, you can just keep it. When it gets wet, you don’t have to explain it to a anti-hunting librarian.
I was working my way through my usual aisles and cubbies in the non-fiction sections along the west side of the store when I made a different turn and found myself in an aisle that was new to me. The sign overhead read “Religion & Philosophy.”
Normally these aren’t shelves that I’d give a second glance, especially when I’m looking for reading material for the deer stand or the rocker on the front porch of the Black Hills cabin. But this time there may have actually been some divine intervention involved.
Friends who I’ve told about the upcoming Paralyzed Veterans of America/Armed Forces Entertainment Outdoor Legends Tour to Southwest Asia have recommended that I take along a travel-sized Bible. Those who have been there in those battle zones say that reading the Bible there has hit home with them like it never has anywhere else.
As I glanced about the Religion stacks, there was no shortage of Bibles; shelf after shelf of them as a matter of fact. But there on the end of the bottom shelf was a small basket containing small-sized versions of the Bible. And there in the very front of the basket was a 4”x6”x1” book titled Heart of the Outdoors: The Bible for Sportsmen. It’s basically a New International Version of the regular old Bible with some “added commentary” by famous outdoor folk like Al Lindner, Dwight Schuh, Kathy Butt, Charlie Daniels, Ed Weatherby and more.
The Bible isn’t foreign to me. I’m the product church-going parents, nine years of Lutheran grade school, and nearly 28 years of marriage to a devout, church-going Christian. But before the chance encounter at Half Price Books, I’d never before encountered a religious book, much less a Bible, targeted at hunters and fisherman. The coincidence of this book crossing my path at just this time was too much, so I ponied up the $3.95 price, and it’s in the pile of gear I’m taking on the Tour. It’s funny; I’m especially anxious to read the views of my fellow outdoorsfolk as to how it the Bible impacts our lives in the field.
If you’re interested in checking it out, Heart of the Outdoors is published by Biblica, Inc. The copy I picked up was copyrighted in 2003. A quick perusal of Amazon shows there are some copies to be had.