Reagan Lee of Georgia spent three months elaborately decorating “every. single. page” of a bible for her boyfriend.
She gave it to him for Christmas and posted pictures of it on Twitter, where thousands of people are oohing over her handiwork — a high-profile example of a craze called bible journaling.
Over the summer, Christianity Today called the trend “Bible study meets crafting.”
Bible journaling goes way beyond simply marking a favorite passage with a highlighter.
Photos of elaborately decorated bibles like the one Lee created abound on Pinterest, Flickr and other social media.
Judging from Twitter, more than a few folks received bible journaling kits for Christmas.
“Scroll through hashtags like #illustratedfaith and #biblejournaling and you’ll see that women are not only spending such valuable time in God’s Word but also communing with each other about their experience, sharing from the deeper places of their hearts with such amazing creativity,” Tricia McCary Rhodes, co-founder of New Hope Church in San Diego, Calif., wrote for Christianity Today.
“Why has this become such a craze, with literally thousands of websites, books, Bibles, and even kits designed to turn us all into spiritual Van Goghs?” Rhodes wrote. “There are many reasons: Breaking out the art supplies and opening God’s Word takes us back to a simpler, less stressful time, and it reminds us of what it is like just to be a child in God’s presence. It gives us a hobby to connect with our sisters in Christ.
“But beyond that, drawing, note-taking, and doodling engages us in the text in a new and often needed way.”
Bible journaling can change the way people spend time “in the Word and it all begins within the margins of the Bible,” Laurel Keller, who works on the marketing team for LifeWay Christian stores, writes in a how-to on the company’s website.
The company sells bibles designed for journaling. The pages have large, white, open margins — space where the user can draw, write, paint, place stickers or stamps or Washi tape.
A few people — presumably not clued into the whole bible journaling phenomenon — chided Lee for embellishing the book, but the reactions were overwhelmingly positive.
And one person made this suggestion.