The Monster Behind: How Books Helped Me Heal

randomlychad  —  June 6, 2011 — Leave a comment

>Overlook Hotel / Timberline Lodgephoto © 2010 H.L.I.T. | more info (via: Wylio)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to read. Whatever it was, if I started, I’d finish (though I did give up on Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series after the fourth book. Don’t ask, I won’t tell).

Like I said, bookwise, I finish what I start. Usually. (Never have yet made it through War and Peace, Les Miserables, or Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot. Who knows why? I know, as I’m reading, that I’m in the presence of greatness, but there’s just something in me that’s not engaging with those stories. I don’t think it’s the fault of the books; perhaps it’s me that still has some growing to do?)

Lately, however, I find that I’ve got several books going, and have finished nary a one. Chalk that up to random interests, work, blogging, husbanding, childrearing, etc.

In fact, here’s what I’m reading now:

A Game of Thrones, by George R.R. Martin.

Pocket Guide to the Apocalypse, by Jason Boyett.

Introverts in the Church, by Adam S. McHugh.

40 Days Living the Jesus Creed, by Scot McKnight.

There are almost certainly others that, as of this writing, I haven’t finished, but over the weekend, my kids and I visited our local Barnes & Noble, where I read (Shawn Smucker and Alise Wright are you ready for this?) the first chapter of John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany, and Stephen King’s new introduction to The Shining.

This introduction, strange as it may sound, helped me put some long-standing issues into perspective–helped me understand that there’s often a monster–which we don’t see–behind the one we do. In this context, I’ll just tell you that while my dad was certainly no Jack Torrance, he was no great shakes either. But his dad, and stepdad, were much, much worse.

And like the famous Forrest Gump said, “That’s all I have to say about that.”

At this point, at nearly forty-two years of age, I’m so over being defined by my wounds. I’ve found that wounds heal, scars fade, and God’s grace covers me–covers you–everyday.

I can’t speak for you, but sometimes I find His grace in the most unexpected of places; such as in the introduction to a nearly forty year-old ghost story.

How about you? What are you reading? What (other than the Bible) is your go-to book? What’s on your nightstand awaiting your attention? Where have you found healing in the written word?

Share away in the comments.




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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers.Subscribe to RandomlyChad by Email

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