Friday, November 18, 2005

Do you want me to read to you?

More years ago than either one of us would want to admit, my mother gave me the gift that, as the phrase goes, keeps on giving.

The gift of words.

She started out by reading to me as I snuggled up in her lap, or lay in bed, safe under the covers, and warmed by the love in her eyes, smile and voice. Then, she began to help me sound out the words for myself, and to discover that these 'things' created from 26 letters could be gateways to the world, challenges to the mind, solace for the lonely, comfort for the grieving.

I cannot think of a moment in my life when I did not have (at least) one book within easy reach. Even in college and seminary, when I should have been focusing on textbooks, I was delving into mysteries, thrillers, novels, biographies.

But my mother also took the time to make sure I was introduced to the Word. And as most folks attest, it was a transforming moment, which continues to shape my life, guide my walk, give me hope, and challenge my unwillingness to let go of my all-too-human desires.

And now, as I share words with people through my writings and preaching; as I seek to introduce others to the Word of hope, of joy, of peace; asI try to challenge the unwillingness of others to let go, I am even more grateful for that gift my mother gave me so long ago when she asked,

"Do you want me to read to you?"

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

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