I was getting bored and frustrated with random reading. There’s too much dystopia in the bookstores these days, don’tcha think. What happens when the lights go out? Or an asteroid hits the moon? Or the rapture comes and I’m Left Behind? I get enough dystopia just reading the newspaper every day.
It’s depressing. Vampires, shmampires. It seems like everyone is trying to write the next The Twilight Series. Yawn. “What does this have to do with prayer,” you ask? Hold your horses. I’m getting to that.
I did enjoy Justin Cronin’s The Passage and The Twelve (Book Two of The Passage Trilogy). It’s quite different from the usual smarmy vampire romance. The characters are interesting and engaging. Enough interesting things happen and with cliffhangers at the end of every chapter the story keeps rolling along. What will happen in book three I wonder. (Hurry up Mr. Cronin!)
Now that’s done and I need a new fictional fix. I’m craving something without vampires for a change. There’s a certain kind of story that just makes you feel good. Hmmmm.
Here’s my list of feel-good favorites that I turn to when I’m burned out. Like Mom’s baked macaroni and cheese, they’re comfort food for the brain.
The Hero and the Crown & The Blue Swordby Robin Mckinley. I can never get enough of these two stories.
Dances With Wolves
Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc by Mark Twain
Random Harvest, by James Hilton
I found myself standing in front of my bookshelf, looking at this collection. I wasn’t really in the mood to re-read any of them, but wanted something like them. I prayed a little prayer and it trickled up to heaven. I prayed quietly, so silently that I almost didn’t hear it myself, feeling guilty that I wasn’t praying for something more providential, like ending world hunger, or for an end to human trafficking. (That’s whole ‘nother post.)
Somebody upstairs must have been listening. (Maybe Saint Catherine of Alexandria, patron saint of libraries?) While browsing the online audio book collection of my local I found an available copy of The Hollow Hills (Book 2 of The Arthurian Saga by Mary Stewart).
After a quick download on the Overdrive Media Player app, I started listening to it on my commute. I could tell right away that this would be another of those feel-good favorites. But I really hate to start a series in the middle (pesky spoilers). Book 1, The Crystal Cave, was not on audio. Eager to start at the beginning, I checked out a really beat up first edition (1970) hardback from the library.
Yep, it’s an answer to prayer. It’s not even Christmas yet, and God has given me a personalized gift of love, a new book by a new author, custom made for me.
In my devotional this morning I read,
“Without God’s love, there is no way to establish [a foundation for a true family]. Without God’s love, there is no way for us to fulfill the purpose for which we were created. Love is truly the source and wellspring of our life and happiness.” –Exposition of the Divine Principle
I have received many answers to prayer over the years. They are usually related to work or mission. More like a, “Let’s get this job done,” kind of answer (James 2:18); a soldier’s marching orders. But this answer was special, because it was purely unconditional, from God’s heart of love to my heart.
I want to abide in Your heart of love always,
To be inundated, overcome,
Swept away by that sweet love.
Just Your loving presence.
With every beat of my heart,
Every breath I take.
Every day fresh and new.
Every morning amidst the sparkling dew.
Soak my feet with Your love as I walk barefoot in the grass.
Freshen me and breathe me in,
as I breathe You in
to dwell in the altar of my heart.