There are defining moments in a person’s life, we all know
that. More importantly, there are defining moments in the life of a child that
shape who they are…forever. My parents raised my sisters and me to be avid readers
and love books. It wasn’t a suggestion; it was a way of life. For that gift, I
am and will be eternally grateful. We are still avid readers and we still love
We grew up in the sixties and seventies and didn’t have the
technologies that have become fixtures in our current lives. We had three
television channels and one telephone…oh, the horror! What would today’s kids
do with that?! I hope the same thing that we did. We made our own movies, our
own fun, and used this thing called an imagination. Much of what we did came
from something we read in a book. Yes, a book!
When we were very young, I can remember getting to go to the
newly built Public Library in our community. My mom took the three of us and we
were so excited. I remember getting to go to the counter where the librarian
handed me a card with my name on it-wow, my very own library card! I got to
check out my stack of books and use my card. I felt so proud and so big! My
sisters had their stacks and off we went anxiously waiting to get home to our
books and read. It’s funny, but I can still remember the smell of that library
and how intently I watched the librarian stamp the return date on the card. The
whole idea of the library was a thrill!
But…it didn’t stop there! We didn’t get to read just what we
wanted; we also had to read something else. My dad came home with the evening newspaper
and we were expected to read current events to gain an understanding of what
was going on in the world around us. So, we became familiar with news, sports,
arts, entertainment, and human interest stories. I didn’t realize it then but my parents were
trying to create three well-rounded daughters who were also well-versed in many
areas and it was done through being well-read. I appreciate the atmosphere of learning that
my parents created for us…we carried on the tradition with our kids too.
I’m not saying that reading is the only thing that shapes a
child but it does open one’s eyes to the world created by others through words.
Words are important! God spoke the world into existence by using words. Words
area creative force and can be used to harm or heal; build or tear down.
Words create a visual. If someone says newspaper, I can
envision my parents reading and their three girls sprawled out on the living
room floor reading too. Someone can say a word and a memory surfaces and evokes
emotion. I can hear the words hot bread
and immediately picture my Grandma’s kitchen table covered with her fresh baked
rolls and I can even remember the smell. Words can even stimulate our
senses-they are that powerful.
God gave us words and He also gave us a book. The Bible is our book, our standard, our
history, and our hope. Where would we be without it and most
importantly, who would we be without
it? This book explains our yesterday, graces our today and hopes for our tomorrow. It gives us an experience no other book
can…it doesn’t have an ending! No book can promise a forever or a real “happily
ever after”. No author has written that story
and no library has housed that copy.
There is only one… one story, one Savior, one Cross, and one love…all in just
I can remember three special books that my sisters and I
carried every Sunday. Mine was white leather and it zipped with a cross and had
my name on the front cover in gold. I remember how I felt when I got that book.
It felt different than when I got that library card. What I got at the library was
good stories but what I got from that little white Bible was the story and… there was no return date
stamped on the card.