Monday, January 18, 2010

30 Days of Touch -- Pages

I had a Kindle. I admit it. I was intrigued by the idea of a cool techno device that would allow me to carry books with me all the time. And I used it a lot. For a week or two. Then it went into my desk drawer and mostly sat there until late in 2009 when I got it out, charged it up, and ... gave it to someone else in our office.

I don't know what she thinks of it.

I have many good friends who use a Kindle or other e-reader. And my Sacred Compass is available on Kindle (more about that in a minute). And I feel like, Well, good for them. Hooray. Glad it works. But it just doesn't work for me. I don't think it's my age. I know folks older than me who love it. Especially the way they can enlarge the font.

I think it's because I am still a toucher of pages. Yes, I know that is somewhat contradictory for a guy who's writing a blog this very minute, but... since confession is good for the soul, as they say, there you go. And today I've been touching a lot of pages for lots of different reasons.
This evening, though, I've been enjoying touching pages of two books new to me. Howard Zehr's The Little Book of Contemplative Photography and Michael Sullivan's Windows into the Soul: Art as Spiritual Expression. Both are very good and I commend them to you.

But the point of this particular blog is not how good the content of these books are. Instead, it's how good they feel. I like the feel of the pages between my finger tips. I like the feel of a real marker sliding over the page ... be it slightly rough recycled paper or finely finished and smooth.

And as I enjoyed turning and marking the pages, I was reminded of other pages. Both of these books are, as you may have guessed from their titles, very spiritual, but I am thinking of the pages of the Bible. I started reading that book of books at an early age. Which is amazing.

I mean, when as a kid I would go to the Hilltonia branch of the Columbus Public Library, wander into certain sections, pick out a book and take it to the circulation desk, the librarian would call my mother to see if I was allowed to read a book that was above my reading level and might have fairly adult themes. But, if I pulled out the Bible with all it's murder and mayhem and sin and sex, nobody batted an eye.

Think about it.

I'm glad they didn't. For those stories formed my faith life. Those thin onion-skin pages filled with King James language opened up the stories of God and God's people. I found they were an often unruly, unrepentant lot -- even in the best times. And I could, even as a kid, identify with that. I knew I wasn't nearly as good a kid as my Sunday School teachers hoped I would be.

Still, I hungered for God. And those thin pages welcomed me. They opened the words of God to me. They still do. And so I am grateful today for the touch of pages between my fingers.

And I hope you are so blessed, too... even if they be virtual pages. Kindle-ized or memorized or whatever -- burned upon your heart.

-- Brent

PS Oh, Sacred Compass (yes, I am shameless, and yes, if you own a Kindle, I hope you'll buy it!) and Kindle... here's the rest of the story. While I was pleased that Sacred Compass was Kindle-ized (after all, that's more people who will read what I consider an important message), I was shocked to find out that some mistake in "translation" from print to Kindle had been made and the word "God" had appeared throughout the Kindle version as "god". Lowercase. Yikes. Thanks to Jennifer Ertel for catching that major faux pas. And thanks to the folks at Paraclete Press (my publisher) for fixing it right away.

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