They won’t let me read.

“You have been given questions to which you cannot be given answers.  You will have to live them out–perhaps a little at a time.”

“And how long is that going to take?”

“I don’t know.  As long as you live, perhaps.”

“That could be a long time.”

“I will tell you a further mystery,” he said.  “It may take longer.”

Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow


I have a vivid image of myself, sitting in the comfy blue striped chair in the kitchen, reading voraciously with highlighters and pencil in hand.  The table to my left holds a stack of books and my steaming coffee.  I am in my element.

My two-year-old finishes breakfast and climbs into my lap.  She’s squirmy and loud.  She may have a book for me to read to her, or she may just want to climb on me.  “Let me finish this section,” I say, not that she cares about my agenda for the morning.  There’s no way I can write notes anymore, and drinking my coffee is awkward and probably dangerous, but I trudge forward and my irritability starts to heat up.  I just want to grasp something new, tuck away an insight for future study.  The odds are good that it’s a book on educational philosophy or a Bible study.  Just a little more quiet time to think!

How many times has this scene closed with a sturdy plunking of the toddler on the floor and an enraged stalking from the room, because THEY JUST WON’T LET ME READ?!

The ridiculous irony here is that I was absolutely reading something that could teach me to be a better mother, if I’d let it.  But letting it involves putting it down and putting it into practice.  Finding out if my fine-sounding rubber can handle the reality of my road.  The only way I can test out any of these questions is to live them.

“Will God give me the energy I need to love my children today?” Put the book down, look your children in the eyes, and PRAY.

“Does narration really work?  Will Ellary make her own connections if I read living books to her?”  Turn off the podcast, turn off the cartoons and read to her.

“Does God want to use me to encourage others?” Exit the blog, stop thinking about exactly what to say and say something.  

Stop avoiding life.  Move toward relationships.  Be uncomfortable.  Choose and act.  These are the words my heart is speaking to my mind.


One thought on “They won’t let me read.

  1. Thank you, Meggie, for Jayber Crow. Wish I’d known the blue highlighting method before began reading it. So many quotes worthy of savoring. Guess I’ll have to start over when I finish the last page :-).


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