This week has been a week of painful discovery. It actually started on Friday when I pulled a back muscle spreading mulch. I’ve never pulled a back muscle, so discovering it was painful, was putting it mildly. Knocked me three ways sideways and down for the count. It’s still not gone, but today, I learned to be thankful. In the midst of my whining and complaining, 1 Thes 5:18 popped in my mind. “In everything be thankful, because this is God’s will for you in the Messiah Jesus.” Only took me 5 days to remember this, open my eyes and heart, draw a circle in my prayer closet and begin to pray. It is amazing how my body is beginning to respond.
There are good things to a pulled muscle. READiNG is one of them. Posted a status earlier on reading. Not unusual, I tend to re-post many things that are about reading. The earlier one was about how 33% of high school graduates will never open a book after graduation. Worse – 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year. UGH! Scary thought for a former Language Arts teacher who usually has – at least – 10 things opened to different pages and who “…read[s] books as one would breathe air…to fill up and live.” Annie Dillard (another favorite author)
Today, I finished a modern fairy tale by Jodi Picoult and her daughter, “Between the Lines”. Interesting YA read, but not any where near the quality of the new book I subsequently started. Actually, it is an old book by Frank Slaughter, “Song of Ruth”. I was three when it was published in 1954, so it wasn’t until I started as a page in the Loudonville Library as a freshman that I probably discovered it. I say probably, because I had been stealing into the adult stacks for quite a few years prior to that. Mrs. Wright was always very good about chasing me out when she found me, but she also looked the other way when I check out those books….although I later found out that she would call mom and let her know which books I was checking out of the adult section. And even as a page, I never got to check out the ones under the librarian’s desk, but I did read them in the library when no one was keeping an eye on me. Even though I have read all of Frank Slaughter’s books, I was immediately sucked back into the story by page 16 and can’t wait to steal some more time tonight.
When we moved to NC, one of the saddest things I had to do was dismantle the library that I had accumulated over a lifetime. Moving to a smaller home left no room for a huge library that took up half of our great room wall space – 1 wall of our bedroom – downstairs basement family room wall space – and miscellaneous spaces in-between…Now – I keep a few favorites to re-read, and when I buy I book, I take it to the local free book exchange at our local general store or give it to one of my friends when I finish re-reading it. And in that – I am thankful once again…for the pain that has slowed me down has allowed me to read a few books and pass on the wisdom it carries.
Joy comes in the small, ordinary things as well as the big, splashy miracles. It is the same God who continues to repeat: “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.” 1 Chron 28:20