It was first Mum's favorite. I saw it as a sharing Jesus tool. Repeating Mum's enthusiasm over it, I gave it to a few friends as birthday presents and the like. I prayed they would read it and be blessed.
But that's when I got into a little trouble. I asked them in letters, what they especially liked in the book. It was my piano teacher's response that surprised me.
"I'm finding comfort in the book you gave me." Then in answer to some forgotten question of mine she said, "Probably Luke."
Huh? What was she talking about? Maybe it was a chapter heading. Maybe a story. I decided to check. I slipped the book loose from the others on the shelf. Inside the first page something caused a laugh. There in big, childish handwriting was written my name. I did remember that. It had been almost half my lifetime ago. The hardcover series it was part of, my brother began discovering and collecting. Finding this one before he did, I claimed it with ink.
My eyes scanned each word down the contents page. What was that story again? With each succeeding title my interest grew. Three pages later, I was convinced and surprised. There was no mention of Luke anywhere. But this book would get a chance to be mine.
The next day was Sabbath. Perfect. In the afternoon there was freetime. I prayed, asking for a blessing on what I read, that I'd understand it. The book on my lap, I began reading. By the time I was into the third chapter my attention was thoroughly caught. Tingles of joy went down my spine reading and 'seeing' the triumphant welcome at the birth of Jesus.
My interest was held, but my eyes began to blur. Oh, no! I didn't want to fall asleep on these stories. I left my room and went outside. Soon, panting I returned.
"What were you doing?" my sister asked.
"Oh, just waking up. Skipping and running helps alot!"
My eyes drooped more than once and each time when I came back, I was wide awake again.
Chapter seven - His childhood had me inspired and excited. He was such a sweet child. Wise. Loving and loved. He knew God and understood nature. Oh, to be just like Him! Then I knew I could. The promises woven through the story assured I could. So relevant. So practical. The chapter on His youth was a favorite.
Two chapter later, Mum called me. It was getting dark. Sadly, I put the book down. I wanted to keep reading. Wow! I was really enjoying this. As we did the goats together, there was a tug in me. I wanted to get it done as quickly as I could. The book was calling me. *smile*
In every spare moment I had, I would read. My relationship with God got better. My prayers were being answered. The first love I'd lost, was returning.
At every mealtime I'd read as much as I could. Every walk on my own I went on, I talked to God. And He became my Friend. Everyday I was closer to Him.
Jesus' sacrifice took on a new meaning. Before it was a cliche. Now a reality, Something that I'd watched. I saw a glimpse of His agony. I caught a bit of the angels' unutterable joy as they welcomed the King of kings back after 33 years.
He has the king's heart, the Bible says. And I know now, He has all, all of my heart.
With sadness and a thrill, I finished the book almost a month later. I feel His claim on my life. I know that no sacrifice I can make will ever come close to what He gave - all for me. I am His daughter. Soon, very soon, I'll meet Him. I can't wait. But in the meanwhile -
I can say with Mummy, Desire of Ages is my favorite book.