Oh, books. I could write about my favorites for days. Or ones that have recently touched a part of my soul. Today, we’re supposed to discuss five of them that impacted our lives in some way.
- The Bible – The more focused I’ve become in my reading of scripture since graduating college, the more I’ve found myself called to the tenets of social justice and being called to work in the mental health care field. I have been more cognizant of trying to live a life that radiates love towards everyone I encounter and in feeling challenged to how I could follow THE commandment better – to love my neighbor as myself. Jesus gives us an example of living a life of love, grace and mercy in the new testament and offers each of us a single challenge – love your neighbor and exemplify my love to the world. If we focused more on loving the world instead of judging or hating, I know everyone would be happier and more reflective of Christ.
- To Kill a Mockingbird – Oh, Atticus. You and your simple yet poignant view of courage forever impacted the way I live my life. “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
- Gone With the Wind – For my AP Literature exam, the prompt was to write about a character’s redemption. Going into the exam, I had joked with my AP teacher that I would use Gone With the Wind for the exam, and after seeing the prompt, it was the perfect choice to ensure that perfect 5. Rhett Butler evolves from a scoundrel with questionable morals to the hero of the book that has the reader pulling for him to have life work out, especially with the love he shows his daughter. I don’t remember how I structured the essay or every point I made about Rhett’s redemption, but I remember sailing through the essay because of how much his role in Gone With the Wind had influenced me.
- Franklin & Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship – We read this book in a course I took second semester freshman year of college about the world powers. I adored the professor and it reinvigorated my love of history and politics. That happens when a former ambassador is your instructor, I guess. This book was my favorite reading from that course. It was an easy read in that it captured your attention immediately and made you feel like you intimately knew two men who have become larger than life in our current reflections on World War II. I loved reading about their friendship, their similarities and differences and finding a more human connection to these two men.
- James: Mercy Triumphs – I went through this Beth Moore study a few years ago, but if you read my perspective on the Bible above, you will understand how much the words of James impacted me, especially when it comes to the love of social justice.