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It Never Really Goes Away

Those of you who read Breakfast Parle last week know I’m currently struggling with a bout of @%#hole-ism. I’ll give you a peek at how that translates in my relationship with God. Take a glance at these beefy novels, for they play a part …


I’ve just gotten home from the library and delightedly plopped in the recliner; diet Dew in one hand and the first book in the other. God walks over and sits on the chaise in the opposite corner of the sunroom; Chai tea in one hand and a Superman comic book in the other.

“Whatcha reading?” He asks.

“Oh. Just an old bestseller.” I flash Him the cover before lowering it to my lap and opening to the first page.

He makes an interested-sounding grunt. “Didn’t you already read that? Back in high school?”

I laugh. “Yeah. Fifteen years ago. Meaning more than enough time has passed for the details to become foggy.” I smile, then start reading. My eyes skim over the initial overload of details—sometimes getting through the beginning of a book is a real chore. But after a few pages, I’m reading in earnest.

“Are you sure it’s a good idea?” God interrupts.

I have to look up. “Huh?”

“Reading this series again. Are you sure it’s a good idea for you?”

My brows almost touch. “Why? It’s not like it’s a trashy romance novel.”

“Really? I think you remember more than you’re letting on.” He says. “Wait. Didn’t you just admit—this morning—to having a pretty crappy thought life?”

“Oh geez,” I say, rolling my eyes. “You would remember that.”

His laugh is quick. “Um. I’m pretty sure anyone would remember that.”

“Well I don’t care what I said. I deserve this little break and I’m gonna read it anyway.” I pull the book up in front of my face, effectively blocking Him from my line of sight. I try to get back into the story, but discover I’m riled up. So I pretend to read while my mind searches through its foggy interior to remember the plot line of the series. I mean, how bad could this flippin’ book be for me?

As if on cue, God answers my silent query. “You’re right. It isn’t the worst you’ve ever read. But given your recent thought struggles … The underlying message will lead to your ruin.”

I gasp as the story line comes back to me. He’s right. It’s not often I clearly make out my potential demise. In fact, it’s never. But I can see what this book represents. It is the tiny bomb that—if thrown at the precise point of weakness—will blow my wall of protection sky high. And spiritually speaking, I’m pretty confident my heart can’t last long without that defense.

I slam the book shut, angry that it has to be this way. Angry that I can’t be a normal human being and read a seemingly harmless book without being negatively impacted by it. My jaw clenches and unclenches. “Why. Won’t. You. Just. Take it away? Give me any other problem?”

He regards me for long moments before walking over to stand in front of me. “Because.” He gently pulls the book from my hands and draws me up into His arms. His voice is slightly muffled in my hair. “My power is made perfect in your weakness.*”

*2 Corinthians 12:9, ESV

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  1. Carolyn Trucano

    Oh, Beth, I feel for you. Our thoughts often get us in trouble, and it doesn’t take much prodding (with outside influences by books – even, or especially by best-sellers) to get us where you’ve been before with the thoughts. “As a man thinketh, so he is” is applicable here. We know God provides us with the words to say, or pray (Ps. 19:14, Ps. 119:105, Rom.8:26). I remember when computers were first coming out the phrase: “Garbage in, garbage out”. I think that is true of the words we read, too (they will come out when we least expect them).

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