I love books. Always have. I love the way they smell, they way they look (this is sounding like a dodgy country song), the way they transport you into someone else’s world and brain. I’m scared of flying. But with paperbacks, there’s no need! Instead I can experience a completely different culture, from the comfort of my front room.
Books are also markers. Some people measure out life in songs or meals or jobs. But for me, life began with The Great Big Hungry Caterpillar. Roald Dahl held my hand as I took my first steps. Judy Blume taught me about periods. Seamus Heaney helped me understand my history. Eliot made me cry. What a privilege to be invited inside another person’s head. To accompany them on journeys that are too frightening to travel alone.
For this reason, I’m struck afresh by how much I need the Bible. We’ve got loads of them floating around the house and it’s easy to take them for granted. But to do so is to miss a collection of love letters from the living God. It’s history, politics, romance, mystery, thriller, tragedy, comedy. It’s life and death and wisdom and truth. All of humanity is captured in its pages – past, present, future. But most wonderfully of all, it shows me Jesus. As I read, He walks off the pages and meets me where I am. Thank you Lord!