The world is in a place of uncertainty with sickness and death all around us. We continue to wonder when we will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Though CO-VID 19 packed a serious punch and though this season is so unprecedented, unusual, and stressful, it does not have to be a hopeless season. Many people are hurting, many places have closed, many routines have been ruined, but this is the time to cling on to what is important and makes our lives worth living.
Words and stories are such a comfort to me. As I was perusing my shelves of books, I came across ones that are perfect reads during the CO-VID 19. I hope they will remind you of hope, fill you with joy, and give you courage to hold on.
- Philippians from the Bible
The apostle Paul’s small but mighty letter to the church in Philippi delivers a message of joy. He reminds our souls of the value of falling in love and following Jesus in spite of suffering. We are to rejoice in contentment trusting in Jesus who never leaves us. For a man who lived a life of persecution for his faith, this letter hits home even more as we feel hurt and stressed because of CO-VID 19. He says, “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength” (4:12-13). We are not invincible, but we are to not worry about what life throws at us because through Him we are strengthened. This is definitely a time to trust in His strength!
This is one of my favorite passages: “Don’t worry about anything instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” ~ 4:6-7
- Crazy Love by Francis Chan
During this quarantine, you might feel cheated and anxious about all the events you have missed. Or maybe you have family and friends suffering from CO-VID 19. We all need to be reminded that God’s love is wild, radical, incomprehensible, eternal and crazy. Chan’s book will make you realize how small our struggles appear in light of the never-ending love of God. It will make you want to radiate His love and be humbled by His kindness. In spite of not being able to see people face to face, we can still show His love especially to our families. Many of us recognize God’s love is amazing, but Chan shows us how we should live knowing that truth. This time more than ever the world needs to know about God’s love and see it being physically displayed.
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Anne Shirley is literally one of the best characters ever made. She is such a delight and you feel like you know her after reading this book. Her optimistic, emotional, and intentional personality is so charming and sweet you cannot help loving her. There are so many blessings Anne Shirley reminds us of. One of my favorite quotes by her is, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” We are still blessed during this time and we can always find something to smile about.
She also values friendship and family because of her orphaned and ostracized upbringing before being adopted by two very unlikely people…aaaahhh I do not want to spoil the story so I will leave it at that.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
We have been stuck in our houses for many days over the last 2 months. I have found during this time I have not valued my family and our house. When I am constantly busy, I miss the gift of being content where I am at. Sometimes we think it is only outside our homes where we find importance and success but being quarantined has forced me to reevaluate this. Adventures are fine and swell, but they cannot match the comfort of home and family. Dorothy in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz discovers this in spite of all the fantastical and dangerous adventures. The world of Oz in all its splendor never dims her wish of going to her home in Kansas to her uncle and aunt. Imagining a life without a place to call home is incomprehensible for me. I am glad I do not have to click silver shoes (yes, they aren’t ruby in the book) to get there.
- The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Those who know me well will probably roll their eyes a bit. I am a super fan of this trilogy and will never give up a chance to talk about it. But with all that aside, this story is similar to our reality right now. You will find their world Middle-earth in peril. All their hope hangs on one of the smallest creatures destroying the most powerful object. Men, elves, hobbits, and dwarves come together to keep evil at bay. I am trying not to spoil the trilogy for you but still give you my reasoning of why it is on this list. They were in a global cataclysmic event, but they held onto hope and fought together (quite epically I might add). It will encourage you to do what you can in this season and always hope for the best.
Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter
You will find this book making you smile. It is so irresistible. Orphaned Pollyanna teaches everyone around her to play the ‘Glad Game’. You simply finds the good in every single aspect of life. If you were promised a doll but got crutches instead…you should think of the happiness found in having two legs and not needing crutches (you will find out more about that in the novel). She changes the course of peoples’ lives just by being thankful and optimistic. During this historic time, we can always find something to be thankful for as well no matter how dark our days are.
Running a Thousand Miles to Freedom by William and Ellen Craft
This has been one of the best books I have read during quarantine. This is a simple memoir of a couple in 1840s American chattel slavery who escape it in the most unique way. There were times the Crafts were worried their plan would fail, but they never doubted the righteousness of their freedom. It is written before slavery was abolished so you will find passages written of the hope they have of slavery’s future termination. It filled me with joy to know their dream came true a few years afterwards.
I hope you will read or reread these wonderful books sometime soon. If you have thoughts on these books or other great books to read right now, please comment below! Stay safe and hopeful!
~ Kenedy M.
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All photos courtesy of Google images.