Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Recently I have been reading three different books at the same time. Oddly enough, they all ended up being finished within a few days of each other. As I thought back over this season of reading, I wondered if there was anything the three of them held in common.
The first was a book by Ferrol Sams, a Georgia author, and "The Widow's Mite and Other Stories" was the name of the book. It was given to me years ago by a friend who knew I had gotten hooked on reading this particular author. Some might say "The Widow's Mite" is a bit too earthly and profane for a preacher, but they would be wrong. I love the way Sams tells stories about growing up in the clay hills of Georgia, but most of all I love the way he makes me laugh. Ever seen someone reading a book who just suddenly bursts out in laughter. There is a picture of me reading Ferrol Sams!
The second book read was "An Hour Before Daylight" by Jimmy Carter. Actually, it is an autographed copy of this book given to me by my Mom. In it, he, too, tells about growing up in rural Georgia. To read the book is to read many things I remember about my childhood in South Georgia, but Carter also caused me to realize that no matter how tall we stand on the earth, it is a good thing to put our hands in the earth every now and again. It helps keep life in perspective.
The third book is certainly different from the Sams' book. Written by his son, the book is entitled, Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret." Taylor was a middle of the 19th century missionary to China, a country which was then closed to the gospel. One of the great stories of the book centers on a conversation between Hudson and a new convert who upon being told that the gospel was hundreds of years old asked, "Why did you not come sooner?"
While the books had little in common, each provided important things...laughter, perspective, and inspiration. It has made for a good season of reading.