"Poll: Majority lacks Trust in Government,” * the headlines reach out and grab Bob, and he is off and reading. He devours the newspaper along with his breakfast. As his wife of considerable years, I observe as he takes a bite of bacon and a large chunk of news, a corner of toast and a turn of the page. Along with his coffee he drinks in hundreds of words from the local paper.
Later on, Bob will purchase and consume a state newspaper as well, filtering through a wider scope of information about happenings and the people who make them. The fact that he has to sort and disregard unimportant sections is in itself a challenge to him. He is so intent, in fact, that he can become unaware of his actual surroundings, and may even miss hearing the phone or doorbell.
Yet from these well-loved pages of newsprint, Bob is informed, incited at times to respond with letters and phone calls to senators and representatives or local officials, and most of all, he is made a part of the goings-on in the world.
“The California Highway Patrol trooper, young with bristly yellow hair beneath his crisp hat, squinted through the windshield of his Crown Victoria Police Interceptor as he cruised south along Highway 1 in Monterey. . . .” **
This is not a headline, but an inviting sentence at the beginning of a best-selling novel. You see, Bob also loves leisure reading, some light and entertaining, and other books that are history or a combination of history and fiction. Occasionally, he has to discard or return books as he encounters offensive material, but quickly finds a better one to take its place. He often becomes so absorbed that reality escapes him until it interrupts in some rude way, demanding attention to mundane tasks. As the wife, I am sometimes the agent of such abruptness.
However, I’ve become aware that Bob derives from this kind of reading great pleasure, needed diversion, and relaxation. Deprived of it, there is a void, even panic sometimes, if he runs out of good books.
“I will never leave you, nor forsake you, saith the Lord. . . .” (Hebrews 13:5 NKJV)
These words are straight from the Book of books, God’s written word. Bob approaches it with reverence, serious seeking, and regularity. He, avid reader that he is, enters a whole new dimension here, one which reaches from the divine to the human, touching his mind and heart with its rich words. It has become an integral part of his life, bringing well-roundedness and completeness.
Unlike the newspapers or other books, this wonderful volume is read, not only for information, nor strictly for pleasure, but as a means of communication with its infinite Author. Also, there is never a need to discount or filter any of these words, for all are relative and important. Through reading it, Bob is instructed, helped, led, or comforted, according to changing needs. Watching him, and sharing a similar experience, I know that this reading is indeed the greatest of all. Assimilating these words is life-giving, and by them Bob is continually changed. I am blessed to be his wife and observer of all these things.
* Texarkana Gazette, April 19, 2010.
** "Roadside Crosses," by Jeffery Deaver; Ch 1, pg.3; Copyright 2009
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