On my desk, I keep a small maroon book, hardcover and ringed by a single coffee mug stain. It was written by a Christian missionary who spread the Gospel throughout India in the early 20th century, and as with all evangelism, it promises salvation through surrender to God. Throughout the book's pages are small exclamation points and asterisks in black ballpoint pen, the epiphanies of its previous owner.
Inscribed on the yellowed title page is a note to the new owner, as it was passed to me in a federal courtroom during a criminal trial I attended last August. The handwriting appears to be that of a child who writes fast and small and without flourish.