Books are my happy place. The words inside form stories that take me to another place, another land, another time. When I open a book I am instantly transported to a different world. I imagine myself there and the characters become my friends. Growing up, it was a common occurrence for me to join my family at the dinner table but keep my nose stuck in a book the entire time. Always careful not to spill food or drink on the beautiful white pages, I managed to live with one foot in each world.
This was my childhood. Books were and are my love. I could read for hours on end and never tire of it. The list of books still to purchase and read is never-ending, and don’t ask me to pick a favorite because that feels incredibly unfair. No matter where I move my books come with me. It’s a haul, but I can’t leave them behind.
There is nothing like cracking the spine of a new book and beginning, but there is nothing quite like carefully lifting the pages of an old book, smelling that old-book smell you can’t put into words.
I can’t imagine not having books – or even more, not being able to read.
But then I sat at a long table in a room in Haiti and I listened to the story of a man who can neither read nor write. My heart broke because of the beauty he has missed out on, and then it broke even further as I realized he couldn’t read the greatest Story ever written.
Through our missionary friend who translated for us, we learned that even if we were to write his name on a piece of paper, he would still to this day not be able to recognize it.
He is probably in his fifties.
Letters are just swirls and symbols and disjointed lines. Books are things that hold pieces of paper with black ink.
But we all need to know the greatest Story ever written, and so in his dreams God began to teach him as he slept. He dreamt of opening the Bible and reading a passage of Scripture with no trouble at all.
We sat around this long table, flies landing and biting, and I didn’t even care because I was swept up in the story. How can this be? What does it mean?
He explained that when he woke, he grabbed the family Bible and showed his dad. Over and over his father had him read the passage he had dreamt about and sure enough, he was reading the Bible word for word.
Nothing else, though.
No slips of paper. No road signs. Not even his name.
Only that passage made the lines comes together and the swirls make sense.
Dream after dream, God taught him how to read. He has now read the Bible in its entirety several times. Verse by verse he dreams, God gives, and he reads.
It seems absolutely crazy and completely amazing. He reads. Every day he pours over Scripture because he sees it as the Living Bread.
It is the only Story he has ever read but it is the only one that really matters.
I’ve taken a lot for granted in this lifetime. I’ve held hundreds of books that have taken me to several different imaginary worlds. I flip the pages and the swirls are the letters, the letters are words, and the words tell the story.
If I’m not careful, I spend too much time in these stories but go about my day without ever once cracking open the pages of the Story.
He has read every verse. He has read from cover to cover. It is all he knows.
As much as I love books, I am both challenged and encouraged – because that is the only Story that really matters, the One that gives meaning to all of our stories.
I’ve been a big fan of DaySpring for a long time — but these new Letterpress Blocks? They’re a favorite. There are several words “pre-created” for you – but there’s this nifty interface where you can build your own word/saying/phrase/whathaveyou.
I picked story. Because duh.
Wanna give it a shot? Simply click here to create your word –> Words Matter Letterpress Blocks- Build your Word!