I work in a public library. It’s a perfect job for a bibliophile like me. (Don’t worry, that’s not a dirty word!) I feel there’s something almost mystical about words on a printed page. Spoken words journey through the quagmire of voice inflection, facial expression, and body language before reaching their listener.
A writer’s words last forever. They sit there, on the page (or computer or e-reader screen) for all time, waiting to be read and examined over and over again. Writers seldom know what impact their words may have, but knowing their printed words can/will be read is what inspires (and terrifies) most writers, this columnist included.
So, what about the book you are reading right now? Is it a romance, mystery, thriller, true crime, courtroom thriller, science fiction, or maybe a classic piece of literature? While there is nothing wrong with books of that type, (I have read a few, myself), have you read anything by C. S. Lewis, J. I. Packer, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Henry Blackaby, Billy Graham, Max Lucado, Oswald Chambers, Richard Foster, or Philip Yancey? Have you read any biographies of people of faith like Alexander Campbell, Amy Carmichael, Jim Elliot, John Wesley, Martin Luther, C. S. Lewis, Fanny Crosby, or Corrie Ten Boom? Are you reading philosophies, theologies, or works of literature that change your thinking or challenge your values?
Alexander Dumas wrote “The Count of Monte Cristo in 1845.” Over a century later, a 15-year-old struggling with dyslexia named Michael Card discovered that the novel’s main character, Edmond Dantes, learned that revenge ultimately brings despair and regret. Card learned that Dantes’ only hope was in a personal relationship with God. He never forgot that lesson, and using Hebrew names for God, he wrote the words for “El Shaddai.” A year later, it was recorded by Amy Grant, and the rest is history. Reading this book changed at least one teenage boy. Have you read “The Count of Monte Cristo?”