What if a book had the power to change the temperature of your life, stir warmth into a cold heart, light a fire in a stale room? What if a book had the power to speak so directly to your soul that it seemed the author had been peering into your windows day after day? What if a book awakened something deep inside you that you didn’t even know was there—a vision, a dream, a purpose lying dormant?
What if there was a book that spelled out directions to hidden treasure? Would you cherish it, like Indiana Jones’ father? Mark it up? Follow its improbable guidance to the ends of the earth? (Wait, it says to go where? To take a leap now?)
We are a people of the book, whose ancestors painstakingly copied line by line, counting each letter, lining things up. So highly our book was revered, so many times our book was copied, that they’ve found 5,686 ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, compared to 7 of Plato. And those copies, widespread as they were, are exceedingly accurate, down to the last “jot and tittle.” On islands off the coast of Scotalnd the words were embellished with gold foil, made into works of art. In prisons and underground churches they are memorized in chunks, etched on walls, torn carefully apart and reverently passed around. Why?
Here is a book that illuminates the wonders of everyday (Do you give the horse his might? Do you clothe his neck with a mane? Do you make him leap like the locust?…)
the comical (Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?)
and the cosmic (When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?)
It is a book that articulates our own great doubts (Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless!)
our passions (Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!)
our insecurities (You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?)
and our fervent hopes (Your sins are forgiven.)
It takes in the sweep of a grand, epic history, from the very dawn of time, through battles and triumphs and tragedies, right down to the most intimate, personal desires of your heart.
It has the power to rescue you from a tumbleweed existence and plant you like a mighty oak tree.
In Charleston, SC there is a tree reckoned to be over 400 years old, called by locals the Angel Oak. Through countless hurricanes it has endured, well anchored by roots that must rival what we see above the surface: 28 feet in circumference, 17,200 square feet of shade under its branches, which stretch, tip to tip, 187 feet across. That tree has withstood all that the Atlantic Ocean can hurl its way, has survived invading colonists and centuries of human need and greed. That tree, serene, vibrates with life, like a soul planted heart-deep in one old book.
What if there was a book that offered you the fortitude to face your addictions, traded your anxiety for peace, made you flexible instead of fragile, taught you to cope with life’s hurricanes? What if there was a book that vibrated with life, startled you witless when you opened it up, spoke again and again to the conditions of your world?
What if, in a simple book, you discovered the great friendship of your life?
Why on earth wouldn’t you dive in, day after day, and drink deep?