17 10 2022


I love to read. I was one of the first kids in my class to master the simple world of Dick, Jane and Spot. Thank God that there would be many more interesting and fulfilling tales along the way. These days my eyes are not what they used to be so I use my phone and an application called Audible, but it allows me to continue to read at least one book a week. If listening to the story is second rate, I would argue that many times I have the privilege to hear the novel being read by the author themselves and it adds lots of depth and insight that I might miss if I was using my own interpretation as I ride my way through the pages.

The very first book that ever made an impact on me was read to us back in Catholic School in the 1960’s. As a matter of fact, it became my favorite time of the day when Sister Noel would read to us from Charlotte’s Web by EB White. I was engulfed right into the wonderful world of Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the compassionate and loving spider that saved that little piggie many times along the way. It was a story of unconditional love and the value of even the runts of the litter. It spoke to my heart of real friendship and how even when you care about somebody, you can’t keep them locked within a box of your own expectations. I can’t remember why I came into a room, but Zukerman’s wonder hog will forever hold a dear place in my heart. There are many Wilbur’s out there who with a little tender attention are ready to become an essential part of your story.

Another classic from my youth was The Velveteen Rabbit. I am 63 years old but in so many ways I still feel like that stuffed little bunny who may not look much, but has experienced the trials the triumphs of loving and being loved. What does it take to be real? How can we know that we are loved and not just used? And is it worth all the pain and the wear and tear to experience relationship at its deepest core? Before there was Disney’s Toy Story, there was Margery Williams’ powerful parable of the miraculous fruit produced when you don’t care what you look like as much as you are determined to do whatever it takes to communicate sacrificial devotion. Jesus shouted out His love for us by being willing to die on the cross. He was mocked, beaten, shamed, ridiculed and pronounced a common criminal, but nothing prevented Him from pursuing what needed to be done so we could be together forever.

As I got older, the Play by Thornton Wilder, “Our Town,” resonated with my soul as a sixth grader. Life rarely stops or slows down unless we are willing to jump out of the rat race and seize a few precious moments to reflect on why we are here on earth in the first place. Shamokin is just another Grover’s Corners and people come and go and repeat their daily chores like clock work. We all need an Emily Webb to sober us enough that we would wake up to the real treasures of life before it becomes too late to do anything about it. The soliloquy Emily shares at the conclusion had me bawling my eyes out the first time I ever read it and it still renders me speechless today. “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? Every, every minute?” Unfortunately we know that the tyranny of the urgent robs most of the masterpieces and miracles that can be had if we would just stop, take a look around and realize that without love, nothing is of lasting value at all.

If you have little ones, please read to them. If you are older now, grab a book and jump into a whole new world that just may rewrite your own resume. Read it all. Fiction and non fiction. Don’t be afraid to venture into new horizon’s that you wouldn’t go unless the tale as old as time was revealed to you with words, rhymes and pages. I lead a Book Club every other Thursday at 1PM at the Shamokin/Coal Township Public Library. Dialoguing with others about the narrative that we are devouring is fascinating to me. I would love to do a Book Club with junior high or high school students that also love to read. If you know somebody who would appreciate that opportunity, please let me know. You can email me at What are some of the best sellers that have made a lasting impact upon you? What are you reading now? Never underestimate the power of stories. Jesus was an expert in telling them and with every new illustration that He gave, eyes were opened, hearts were healed and futures were drastically altered. Keep reading! It isn’t over yet!   



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