I am crazy about a new book that just showed up in the devotional section. Our boss, Lando, pulled it off the shelf a few days ago to read during the staff prayer time and it has not disappointed yet. The Book Lover's Devotional is the title and inside we "learn about life from sixty great works of literature".
Today's reading was based on Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables. Did you know that Anne has sold over 50 million copies since its publication in 1908? Anne happens to be a personal favorite of mine, (after Pippi Longstocking), and for years I have tried to emulate her love for life, for words, and for her family. In fact, at one point I was so obsessed with her that a godly, older lady told me to get my eyes off of Anne and onto Jesus!
That aside, I have read every title in the series about Anne and her children over the years. After reading today's devotional, I realized why these books strike such a comforting, familiar chord in not just my heart, but in the hearts of people around the world. Allow me to quote just a bit:
Few stories in literature encapsulate the message of our Father God's heart for His children like Lucy Maud Montgomery's classic tale Anne of Green Gables. Anne Shirley, the story's young heroine, represents each one of us. She comes to Green Gables a fatherless child who hasn't quite found her place in the world. In a sense, she is a lost soul...
There is a somewhat ironic scene near the beginning of the story in which Matthew Cuthbert, the owner of Green Gables, a farm in the town of Avonlea, on Prince Edward Island, goes to the train station to pick up an orphan child that he believes to be a boy. He and his sister Marilla have decided to take the boy, because Matthew is growing old and needs help with the chores at Green Gables. Imagine his surprise when he finds Anne, a darling little chatterbox with red hair waiting there. He takes her back home to meet Marilla. Unfortunately, Marilla - who is rather stoic in personality - doesn't take to the child. Anne is everything Marilla is not: quirky and fun, and often into mischief.
Anne feels set apart from the other children in Avonlea, not just because of her plight, but also because of her physical appearance. She despises her red hair, even going so far as to dye it. Unfortunately, the dye turns her hair a lovely shade of green! In one of the most poignant scenes of the book, Marilla helps Anne cut her hair, promising one day all of this will be behind her...
In spite of her challenges, Anne maintains a hopeful view of life. She's convinced that God's in His heaven, all's right with the world. All of this is made possible because two people extend a hand to her, offering love and hope in her time of need.
Our journey is much like Anne's. We come to God broken, without a home, lost, and unsure of where we fit in. He fathers us, caring for our deepest needs and offering a safe place to run. Then, as we are healed and made whole, He teaches us to do the same for others - to extend a hand to those in need.
The author goes on to refer us to a relevant Scripture and ask some probing questions. And there are 60 of these readings! We will learn lessons from books like To Kill a Mockingbird, Don Quixote and A Wrinkle in Time. I can't wait to discover what makes these stories so engaging and thought provoking! I love books that entertain as well as inform. ~~Becky