Mom told of an aunt and uncle who owned a restaurant. When mom would visit, this auntie would let mom explore the former bookstore on the other side of the building she owned. When her aunt unlocked that door, mom had personal access to all of the books that were still nestled on each shelf of that now abandoned bookstore. A whole new world opened up to her as she fingered the pages of each book that she read. It is no wonder that mom carried the love of reading with her throughout life, until Alzheimer’s would overshadow her ability to read in her last year of life.
In 1964, a new branch of the Milwaukee public library opened up on Capitol Drive, in a neighborhood very familiar to my parents. Just a handful of years earlier, I had been born in the Capitol Drive hospital (where mom was a nurse) just a few miles east down the road, and my parents had lived in the house just behind that hospital for the first years of my life. Looking back, it’s no wonder my mom would be one of this library’s early patrons, or that some of my earliest memories are of her helping me choose books from its shelves. What a wonderful feeling it was when, a few years down the road, I received my very own library card, giving me my very own access to countless adventures in books, plus the resources I would need for school research down the road a few years.
Yours truly in kindergarten, the year my adventure in reading would begin. Note: mom was much better at helping me choose books to read than she was at cutting my hair.
Fast forward to 1969 when another library opened up to me. This library of just 66 books was contained within one greater volume. Yes, the Bible. It was during the 12th year of my life when I, by faith, met the Author of this book. In the very moment that I placed my trust in Christ, His Spirit came to dwell within me, unlocking and giving me full access to the truths within the pages of my Bible.
I learned a verse during that year which helped me understand the importance of this Book of all books in my new life as a believer and why it continues to speak to my heart and change me from within each and every time I spend time within its pages.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)