Whenever I’d come back from volunteering at a hospice office while living in Los Angeles with the sis some months ago, I used to always make it a point to stop by my neighborhood public library. I’d check out 2 book shelves while there: the Free Books book shelf and the $1 Each book shelf.
Once in a blue moon, I’d come across a fantabulous find on the Free Books book shelf (such as a Sherlock Holmes Mysteries book – with pictures!).
But most of the time, I’d find really old books there that probably nobody with Internet connection at home would ever pick up to read. Books such as on “How to Play Tennis”, which had black and white-pictured instructions on the different kinds of tennis swings one could do. Moves ya might as well watch within several minutes on YouTube, rather than try to figure out with words on a yellowing small paperback book.
But one of them really great finds I had ever come by was a paperback book I had almost not turned over. I had just about ignored the book cuz it looked so beat up (chucked and flung around) because of its very folded up edges. I unrolled its mildly-torn cover and looked at its front cover. Oh, it was The Shack book!
I had often heard about this book in Christian circles, magazines, and in bookstores, but had never checked out the book myself. I hadn’t even ever picked up the book to read what it was about on its back cover. All I knew was that it was a Christian fiction novel.
When it comes to reading Christian books, I used to go crazy over them. When I had first become a Christian, Bible reading seemed like such difficult reading for me, that I was constantly searching for inspirational books that would clarify what in the world the Bible was trying to say. Reading various inspirational books by different Christian authors (Philip Yancey and Oswald Chambers were 2 of my favorites) and trying to read different translations of the Bible went on and on for about the first couple of years of my Christian life.
Then one day, I had heard somewhere that Christians needed to stop reading about the Bible and just read the Bible itself. That’s when I realized, oh yeah, no kiddin’. That way, I’d remember where them Bible verses are located too, if I were to read the same Bible’s pages over and over again, instead of reading different Bibles all of the time.
So ever since then, I’ve been trying to limit myself on reading inspirational material and trying to just read the Bible itself. That was one of the reasons I hadn’t ever picked up The Shack book. Not only was it another inspirational book, I had heard, but a fiction one too. Not for me, I had always thought.
But now here it was, sitting on the Free Books book shelf. Might as well read it now, since I never had, and since it’s free and all. Might as well find out what all the hubbub about it is all about, I thought to myself, as I put it into my backpack.
When I got home, I broke out my roll of scotch tape and unfurled the book’s covers and pages. I taped its covers and brought it back to readable ship-shapeness.
As some of y’all know from my having given a review of The So Brave Young and Handsome book, I’m not such a good book reviewer. Guess I’ll just say this: If you come across The Shack book at your local library, it’s worth borrowing to read.
As I was in the middle of reading the book, I had come back home to Guam again. While eating dinner at the table one day, I noticed a painting hanging on one of the kitchen walls. “Where’d you get that painting?”, I asked my Mom. She said that the friend from whom she had bought a bed mattress from had given it to her for free. I kept staring at the painting as I ate my chow on the table.
If I hadn’t seen The Shack book at that library’s book shelf and wasn’t then at the moment reading the book, the painting would probably not have had much affect on me, besides it being cool that it was an actual painting and not a print in a frame.
Seeing that painting made me think of God again. He musta placed that book on that Free book shelf for me (knowing that I probably wouldn’t have paid a buck for it bein’ a tattered paperback and all). And He musta provided for this painting to come into our home for free too. I now saw how God not only moves mountains to get our attention, but also books and paintings too.