Like a cold-case detective, I have for the past 29 years been on a quest for a treasured book my family once owned.
I fell in love with this book the first time I picked it up from the shelf. The title was simple: Onesimus (the novel). The cover had characters dressed in Roman attire.
From the first sentence, I was drawn into a world so different from mine. Onesimus is a character briefly mentioned in one of the shortest books of the Bible, Philemon. He was a slave that ran away from his master Philemon and somehow ended up with Apostle Paul.
I am sure many people have read that passage and have never dwelt much on it. Yet Lance Webb had creatively taken the time to create a whole novel out of one of the shortest Scripture passages.
As a nine-year-old, I found the story so captivating as I read the book repeatedly.
That is until I made the stupid mistake of taking it outside the house. I lent it to someone, and that was the last I saw of the book.
The long quest for a treasured book
It’s been 29 years since I lost the book, and I have often thought of the book wishing I could get my hands on a copy to read those words once again.
Finally, two months ago, I decided to look for it online again. I had searched on previous occasions but had come up empty.
I had forgotten by now the name of the Author. All I had to go on was the name Onesimus. I first looked on Amazon, and the books there were not what I remembered. I could have given up, but my name is persistent Angel for a reason.
Then decided to try searching on google. I got the idea to search by the year the book was written. I had no clue what year it was written, but the year 1980 danced on the periphery of my mind, and so I used it. Voila, I got the author’s name, and I saw the image of the book as I remembered it all those years ago.
By now, my hands were beginning to shake. Was I nearer to my dream and desire of having the book back in my hands?
Finally Finding my Treasure
I quickly went back to Amazon with the new data. Sadly the book was out of print. Which meant that if you were lucky to find the book, it was pretty expensive. Again I could have shut my computer and given up hope.
No way, I am a strong-rooted person. I will find a way. So I kept searching till I found a copy on Amazon. A used copy. There was the only one available at that price.
My hands quickly clicked on the add to cart button. There was no room for having second thoughts. Finally, the book was within my domain.
By the time shipping and handling were calculated, it came to $10.76. A book that I was seeing sold elsewhere for $184 for a new copy. Trust me, I ordered it.
I was so happy, but I still told myself that it was too good to be true. Two weeks later, my Mama posted on our WhatsApp family group that I had received a package. Then she sent a picture.
I am now the proud owner of Onesimus, the novel, and I can’t wait to reread it. It might be in Arizona at the moment, but at least I know where to find it.
Have you had a similar experience? It’s amazing how words you read can have a lasting impact on you. I hope one-day people will look for my works like I looked for Lance Webb’s Onesimus. I hope to take little things that seem insignificant and create new exciting worlds that people young and old can enter for solace and inspiration.