I was doing some work in a public library the other day. Does anyone remember when people were asked to be quiet in libraries? Didn’t that used to be the cardinal rule? “No talking in the library. Be quiet in the library.” Isn’t that why kids hated to go to the library?
When I was in elementary school, my dad took my brother and me to the library twice a week in the summer. It was a 30 minute drive from our house in Gautier, MS to Pascagoula. In high school, as I learned to love reading, I was so proud of my father for taking us to the library and being concerned about our literacy. I was dismayed to find out in adulthood that he took us there and left us in the children’s section, with the very cute college girls that worked there, because he was downstairs working on research for his master’s and doctorate. I haven’t been able to go into a library without feeling abandoned since.
At any rate, I was at the library with my daughter and the entire experience warmed me. She loves books, she loves to read. I’m not just glad about that because her mother and I love to read, but because I know that kids who read, and love reading are more likely to embrace Christian faith. That makes sense, since God really is a God of words. In fact, Jesus is the Word, as John’s gospel calls Him.
So, I thought this morning that I would let you know which books have been most critical to my faith.
1. The Bible. I don’t mention this to be cheesy or attempting to be ‘holier than thou”, but rather because if I didn’t I would surely hear about it from someone.
2. C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters. I reread it last week. Every Christian should have to read it. Really, any C.S. Lewis is good.
3. John Eldredge, Wild at Heart. I liked the book so much that I went to the retreat with him in Colorado. The book changed my orientation about myself, God, and the purpose of life.
4. Phillip Yancey, Disappointment With God. Not only was it the right book at the right time, but it addresses some of the most difficult questions about God skillfully, thoughtfully, and sensitively.
5. Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ. It’s a classic. Enough said.
Well, that’s good start. E-mail me some of your favs.