Reading Lessons for Milly

Milly’s Sky Today

I got to thinking…  Just what did I learn from reading The Book Thief?

Doing something hard is worth the effort

It was hard, even painful, to read to The Book Thief.  It reminded me of the suffering of everyday folks in the middle of cruelty and war.  No matter how difficult the subject, I was like the Book Thief.  I couldn’t stop reading.  I had to follow the story until the end.

Remember history – Learn from it

Have no fear.  It is what Jesus teaches.  Over and over again he instructed us; do not be afraid, or to fear not.  This includes watching history.  In the middle of reading The Book Thief, I became terrified.  I began to see real life stories that came out of Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Europe woven into the fabric of fiction.  I saw powerful people in our culture today working hard to limit our free speech.  They are working to train our thoughts to accept criminal acts and values that are not our own.  Essentially working to dictate our thoughts; what can we do?

Apply the lessons history teaches.  History repeats itself.  We can see where this path leads.  It is a path the powerful have chosen before.  History teaches we must stay strong in our values and believe in ourselves.  While we may be afraid, we stand for what is right.  We allow freedom to stay in our hearts.

I also found in the stories, real or fictional, the regimes do not win.  Eventually they crumble.  They cannot survive because they are not based on truth.  We may not want to walk the path that is hard.  But, we will walk it afraid or not.  What can we do?  Keep telling the truth.  Plant those seeds of faith and freedom for future generations.

The Book Thief’s Mama and Papa taught her to read and care.  They will get it!  Just like my generation and the Book Thief’s they will return to their roots.  They will grow to stand for faith and think for themselves.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

I think in pictures

I found this aside really interesting.  It explains something I did not understand about my writing.  I do not see words.  Reading The Book Thief I watched the story unfold in my mind.  This is why I felt so strongly about it.  When I write, I am really trying to explain what I see in my head.  When I read something I “see” it.  It explains why I am good at stories and reading but horrible at grammar! {chuckle}

Keep going

Don’t give up before the last card is played.  The Book Thief grieved, enjoyed, worried and was afraid.  But, she never gave up living.  I am reminded of another book I felt compelled to read about a man who would not give up on God:

Job’s story is long and tedious.  Several years ago I was drawn to reading the entire book.  Before that I had not been able to finish The Book of  Job.  At the time, I had read through every book in the Bible except Job.  I dawdled starting it.  I doubted I could finish it.  I kept saying, “I know the ending.  I’ve been taught the story.”  I’m glad I did read it.  Because, God deals the last card and it is a good one!  We who have heard the story in Church know the ending.  When I walked with Job through chapters of sorrow and loss, I felt God’s greatness in the end.  God’s reward is always greater when you know the journey.

The Book Thief’s journey ends in a good long life with a spirit ready for anything.  I am glad that I committed to finishing both The Book Thief and The Book of Job.  My life would be less without the experience.

Today my sky was overcast and stormy then turning clear blue with white playful clouds.  A cool breeze stirs the humid air.  What color is your sky today?*

Blessings to you, as we walk our paths today, no matter the color of your sky…


*HINT:  Read The Book Thief for the explanation of the color of sky.  As my friend, who encouraged me to read the book says, You will never look at the sky the same way again.

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