Why do I read…
- I read to have hope.
- I read to comfort my own heart that I am not the only quirky character on this spinning planet. God designed robins and sparrows but he also glittered the world with peacocks and gooney birds. (Whew)
- I read to grasp what I don’t know and what will expand the content of my narrow experience.
- I read because my taxed brain needs a vacation…sometimes from myself. Some tomes make me laugh out loud, which is its own kind of holiday…all expenses paid.
- I read because I love words, especially those that sing with a zesty language that fits inside me and at times, they even knit the inner ragged spaces back together, with silk threads of wisdom.
Isn’t one of the reasons we like our closest friends is because they get us? Or at least they have the capacity to abide us and us them? With books, their pages are unlimited in friendly availability, even if we bend corners, highlight phrases, underline quotable material, and leave them on a footstool where the puppy gnaws at their cover (oops).
I’m not suggesting we replace our friends with a book, well, there may be a rare few, but that would take a talk with Jesus to discern. What I am saying is reading for me often correlates with my sanity. Just about the time I’m ready to sell our puppy, raffle my husband off, or give up on my tilt-a-whirl emotions, the right book shows up to nudge or at times shove me in a better direction.
Many, many years ago in a land called “My Life,” my husband and I were struggling with each others peculiarities. Some dear soul put the book (long out of print), “To Have and To Hold” by JIll Renich into my hands. I devoured it. I wrote scribbly thoughts alongside her insights. I memorized hopeful steps I could take. I tried to answer the questions at the end of each chapter. It became for me in that unsteady season of my life a handbook. Like a Girl Scout manual only instead of teaching me how to build a campfire Jill taught how to rekindle the embers of love with kindnesses, respect, and a listening heart. It made a significant difference in me and for our couple-ship. We are still our own versions of odd but with boundaries and gratitude.
Speaking of gratitude I love the book of Philippians in the New Testament. Paul sets an example of the absolute power of a thankful heart when he writes, “Rejoice and again I say rejoice. In all things give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Paul writes this mind you, while imprisoned. That’s not natural. Some historians believe he was under house arrest chained to a guard. That’s at the least aggravating and certainly not ideal for a writer, especially a thankful one.
I too was imprisoned, under house arrest, chained to agoraphobia, surrounded with heavy bars of fear. So you can only imagine how hope-filled I was to read Philippians dozens and dozens of times allowing the story to sink through my resistance and into my empty cup. Paul penned hope.
Reading can be revealing, which can make it initially rigorous, since change is hard work, and truth can be super scary…just…before…it…liberates.
I don’t know why you read…or don’t, but I really, really, want you to, because I know what it’s done for me. And there’s nothing more compelling than a satisfied customer. (I read that somewhere.)
Select your book from a library, an audible list, a bestseller table, or at the back of a dusty garage…so you can by reading, know, grow, and then sow into the lives of others. Come gather little sparrows, fine robins, and wonky gooney birds, it’s Spring and the feeder is full.