“Sometimes we are too busy with the concerns of living to give much thought to life.” ~ Thom Lemmons
I had a different post about a different book recently plotted and planned for this garden of ours — that all changed earlier today when I went shopping with my daughter at a local thrift store for her Homecoming Dress.
(For those of you in other places not stateside, Homecoming is an annual high school ritual marked by a football game [the other kind, not soccer] with the local rival school, and a formal dance the following evening — it’s a great excuse for the kids to get very dressed up and for the parental units to take pictures. It’s usually the last time we see our kids looking this good until Prom, or the “Spring Formal”.)
While my daughter perused the clothing aisles of the GoodWill Store, I perused the massive used book selection. For reasons still marginally unknown to me, I snatched a small hardbound novel off a shelf and flipped thru the pages.
- Jabez — a novel
Traditionally, I don’t read “Christian Themed Books”. They make me feel guilty for not following through with all the promises I made in Sunday School. I have enough self loathing these days, thank you very much.
God and I have had a careful relationship over the past few years. I try not to blame deity for all the crapulence in my life (or yours) and God tends to leave me alone.
Once in awhile I wave to God. I think we keep a respectful distance from each other — and that may be about to change as a result of reading this wee bit of historical fiction.
Honestly, I’m doing some research for a paper that a few colleagues and I are collaborating on; it’s the true reason I decided to haul the tiny book home (a steal at a buck, and now that I’ve read it, the first person to send me their address can have it . . . )
I made the mistake of opening the book up when we came home an hour or so later, and I couldn’t put it down. Not once.
I tend to be in the process of reading four or five books at a time. It’s rare that I’ll finish even a small novel in one sitting, however the prose of author Thom Lemmons allowed me to have a front and center seat in the narration of the life of the protagonist. Jabez was a real person, and some of you may have heard of the Prayer of Jabez. He is mentioned in the Bible, 1 Chronicles 4:9.
What the author did — was to give us gentle readers the opportunity to discover the meaning of having a conversation with something as deeply personal as God, and you most certainly do not need to be a Christian to have this conversation. Jabez wasn’t.
In fact, Jabez wasn’t quite sure what to believe in, but he did allow something profound in his spirit move him to peace. Spirit touched spirit, and then it touched me.
Two hours later, I finished the book and I was stunned at the power of such a simple thing as 129 pages. I was entertained and inspired. So inspired, that I took a gulp and decided to share the experience with you.
I deeply identified with Jabez. For many reasons. Not the least of them being that God just wasn’t my cuppa tea. So I thought.