April 2022 Featured Article
More than words
(If you enjoy 80’s music at all, you are now humming a tune – you’re welcome.)
I see readers comment often how books inspired them or evoked an emotion. How they related on a deep level with the character or understood the situation so ardently than it may have triggered some thoughts and memories. The moments created on the pages of books mean something to the people who read them. That means that the books authors write are more than words on a page, it’s art inspired by life.
Think about how many times you have read a story and a collection of simple words jumped out at you and wrapped themselves right around your heart. You set the book down in your lap and ponder what you read a couple times. If it is a kindle, you might even highlight it so that you can go on Goodreads and visit that moment again. I do not know about you, but I love those moments.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”
Psalms 40:1-2 NIV
Yes, I know it might be unusual to drop a Bible verse in the middle of an article, but stay with me.
If you read my article from last month, you read about my conversion to Christian Fiction. Well, I guess this might be a continuation of that because there was a time in my life when this passage applied to me. Now, I believe that if God wants your attention, He will use what ever means necessary to get your attention.
Imagine, if you will, I am sitting on my second hand, order blue couch with Elmo on the television and two little boys and my one year old daughter running crazy. My husband is gone over the road to better provide for our family. My mind is blank, my heart is lonely, and my motivation to do anything has ceased to work. I worked at a bridal shop at the time and it was right in the middle of prom season (this meant ten hour days in high heels dealing with teen aged girls who are a little on the sassy side, mothers who have big opinions and ideas, and teen aged boys there to get tuxes that they don’t want to wear). Anyway, I picked up my first Kindle that a friend gave me for my birthday the previous December and looked for a book that grabbed my attention. That was when I came across a book from an author I had never heard of – Chautona Havig – and her book Ready or Not. The title resonated with me because ready or not, I was a single mother. Ready or not I had to manage a household, a work schedule, a babysitting schedule, and find time to go to church. When I read the synopsis of the story, I knew that it would be just what I needed.
Now, Chautona knows how much I love this book and Aggie’s journey , but I don’t think she knows how profound and timely this discovery was. I felt Aggie’s pain, frustration, and the overwhelming amount of things that needed to be done – and I didn’t have that many kids. Then, enter the little old neighbor lady who guided Aggie along her path and she whipped me right into shape at the same time. I learned that I needed to depend on the people around me that loved me and wanted to help. But I didn’t have to do this single – not single – motherhood thing alone. I learned that I wasn’t superwoman and that I needed not just a tribe of helpers, but I needed to feed myself spiritually as well.
Over the last fourteen yes, I have come across several books that I’ve done the same thing. I couldn’t tell you all the titles but I can’t tell you how many of these books touched my heart, ministered to those lonely places, and encouraged me to pull my bootstraps up. They’ve opened my eyes into a world of Christian-based thinking that I hadn’t witnessed before and it only broadened my perspective of the Scriptures. You can definitely tell we’re an author stands based on the kind of book they write in regards to the Bible and practicing their faith.
Don’t get me wrong, there is no book greater than the Bible and as Christians, the Bible should be our only source of growth. But like I said earlier, God will use whatever tools necessary to get our attention. Whether it be a movie, a theater production, a simple phrase, or a book that is a work of fiction, He will use it because he is God. And if the author that wrote the book currently on your bedside table spent any time at all praying over that story, then maybe that book could be more than just words.