Olivia's honors English class is reading To Kill a Mockingbird outside of school. This means that every night Olivia is required to read two chapters. If it's been a while since you picked up this classic, you may not remember the language is a bit "old school" and the characters come and go so quickly that paying attention is a MUST!
This text is definitely the most difficult Olivia has been called upon to read so far in her school career, so every night we find ourselves snuggled up together plowing through the next two chapters of the adventures of Scout and Jem. Just typing those words reminds me that Dill has sort-of slipped out of the story since he "got a new dad" and doesn't visit the town of Malcomb in the summer anymore, a perfect example of how the characters play huge roles and then seem to disappear.
I read this story years ago and as we move on in the storyline many things are familiar while still being surprising all over again.
It's like I'm reading the book for the first time with a sense of dejavu all the way through.
Olivia, on the other hand, is absorbing the story from a totally fresh perspective so she has questions along the way that I may not ask if I hadn't read it before.
I'm realizing more and more how a book I only read once and then tucked away can slowly slip from my mind and become a foggy memory.
I'm also realizing that while the characters in this book seem real and events similar to this story's plot probably did happen in American history, Olivia and I are reading fiction. Scout and Jem never walked on the earth. Dill never got a new dad.
On the other hand, when I pick up the BIble and read stories of the Israelites entering the Promised Land or Jesus walking on the earth, I believe with all my heart that I am reading real stories from History.
The characters in the Bible, no matter how long or short their appearance may be, really existed, really walked, and really talked.
I also realize that as I read these stories over and over they change me, they become part of who I am today.
I am feeling convicted this morning about something.
I snuggle with Olivia to read fiction, but I am not snuggling with her to read God's Word.
Why in the world did it take a high school teacher's "required reading assignment" to make me crawl under a blanket with Olivia and open a book.
Not that we've never read the Bible together or that Olivia doesn't read on her own, but how powerful would it be if ever night we were taking time to read one story and talk about it.
How wonderful would it be to hear Olivia asking questions about why Moses did this or what was Esther thinking when she did that?
Life passes by quickly and I missed some great chances to have these kinds of moments with our boys.
It's easy to lean on church and youth group to meet your kids' spiritual needs, but more than ever in life, I think our kids need more!
I only have three and a half more years of Olivia at home, and the book To Kill a Mockingbird has opened my eyes to a great opportunity to share more than just fiction with Olivia while she is still home.
Only God can speak through His Word and the words of others all at the same time.
He is constantly in pursuit of us, even when we snuggle up with fiction works!
I love this about Him!!!