I love books. I love the feel of books. I love the smell of books. I love the noise made when I turn the page. I love seeing all of those words together in one place and knowing that they hold a story. I have to admit, though, that I don't always read all of the books that I buy. Sometimes I just do a dance around a book - knowing that it has knowledge that I need but don't want. We have a little passive-aggressive relationship going on sometimes. Even so, I still love owning the book. I love owning books the way some women love having jewelry.
Through some practical experience, I have learned that I don't really like sharing books. I'm not sure if I just attract the type of friends that do not return books or if it is an epidemic. Some very precious books have not come back to live in my personal library. I have chosen to keep the people relationships over the book relationships, but there were a few times when the scale almost tipped the other way.
After many years of living in the same house with my father, I have learned not to lay my books down anywhere other than my bedroom (and once or twice that has not even helped). I have learned in just the past few years that laying my books down within in reach of my husband is not a good idea either. Why is that? What happens to these books?
They end up in The Reading Room.
For some reason, men like to sit on their thrones and read while taking care of life's baser needs. You cannot know how happy my husband was when we looked at this house and found out that the master Reading Room had built-in bookshelves. That might have been the selling point, but he is staying mum on the matter.
So now I know that if a book is missing, I need to start the search for it by looking in the two Reading Rooms in the house. If I do not get to the mail before these men, most of the periodicals that we subscribe to will end up in one of the Reading Rooms. I have to say, the upshot of this is the predictability. I usually don't have to look in more than two locations to find my pilfered publications.
I almost never pay attention to the material brought into the Reading Rooms by the men in my family. Yet, something caught my eye the other day. It looked as if one of my small daily-meditation books had made it into the Reading Room. However, it was actually a book I had never seen. A copy of Nelson's Quick Reference Bible Questions & Answers had ended up on one of the shelves in the master Reading Room. I wondered what type of questions and answers were appropriate for male reading time, so I thumbed through the book to have a look-see.
Once again, God had decided to communicate with me in a way that was completely unexpected. I do not know exactly what made me stop on page 112, but the question/answer there was about the subject matter for one of my current intense conversations with God:
38. Multiple choice: Psalm 19 finds the psalmist asking God to cleanse him from what kind of faults? (a) Habitual faults; (b) secret faults; or (c) harmful faults. (b) Secret faults (Ps. 19:12). Those sins we tend to hide are the ones which have the greatest hold on us and are most destructive.
Why, God? Why can I not even go into the Reading Room without you reminding me that I have secrets that need to be dealt with? I am so honest and forthright about so many things. Can't we just leave this one thing alone for now?
No, beloved. This secret is dangerous and destructive...it could break your heart.
Of course, this was not the only way that God was drawing my attention to where He wants it. He was working on me in many ways. But to know that He would not let me escape Him for even a few moments in a little closet of a room...it wearies me at the same time it makes me feel special.
Am I going to tell you about this dangerous, destructive secret? Not at this time. I'm still too raw and confused. I am not going this alone, though. He has graciously brought people into my life who have dealt with this kind of thing before. I am safe and I am accounted for.
I am definitely moving that book out of the Reading Room, though. My husband can go looking this time.
Linking up with Jen and the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood. Let's go over there and see what others have to say!