Books are Friends

“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”  C.S. Lewis

“The familiar faces of my books welcomed me.  I threw myself into my reading chair and gazed around me with pleasure.  All my old friends present – there in spirit, ready to talk with me any moment when I was in the mood, making no claim upon my attention when I was not. ”  George MacDonald

My husband Howard has loved to read, really loved to read.  He has kept lists of books he wanted to read and systematically crossed off one book at a time.  Our local library staff have become familiar with him, as he arrives at their desk often to pick up books he has requested from the larger library shared by multiple counties in our state.  I once bought him a sweatshirt that said: So many books – So little time.  He has emphatically taught our grandchildren that books are friends.

Once our darling granddaughter Miah questioned him about this doctrine of books.  With teasing eyes and a wide smile that showed off her dimples, she asked,  “Grandpa why do you call books friends?”  She then emphasized firmly, as if her beloved papa was as silly as old Pooh Bear, “Books aren’t friends!”  He defended his position, trying to explain how a book is a friend, although Miah was old enough to understand perfectly and just wanted to have a little fun teasing her old, book loving papa.

There are some authors that I owe more a debt of gratitude to than others who have merely offered me hours of entertainment.   When I was a young woman questioning my faith, C.S. Lewis’Mere Christianity strengthened it, gave it intellectual roots.   In my imagination, Lewis’ Aslan in the Narnian Series became a profoundly rich illustration of Jesus, The Lion of Judah.  The novels of George MacDonald gave me an understanding of who Father God is.   They painted a picture of Him that I fell in love with.   Learning my “friend” Lewis had been influenced by the writings of my “friend” MacDonald only made my admiration for him bigger.  Someday in Heaven, I will have to seek these two men out and thank them for the ways they impacted my life for such good.

Father, thank you for C. S. Lewis and George MacDonald, who have been such good friends to me.  Thank you for the gifts they have given to me.  Thank you for the way You have used them to build and grow my faith. 

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