Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows

Tag: John Grisham

Refuse to do Nothing

Homeless people are human.

You may think that is obvious but at one time they were invisible to me. They first came on my radar when I read John Grisham’s The Street Lawyer. The idea that they are far more than a vague figure covered by a tatty blanket percolated away for a while, and then God added a little of His compassion to the mix. I eventually found myself chatting with Big Issue sellers and getting involved with social justice.

Francine Rivers in Redeeming Love made prostitutes human. It’s never as simple as just seeing a woman selling herself on a street corner late at night. There’s a whole back story of gut wrenching misery that drove her to that dark place. No little girl dreams of growing up to be a prostitute.

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Celebrate: Books

From the days of reading The Magic Faraway Tree to my teddies and dolls, I’ve loved books. Hard backs, paperbacks, smooth paper, pictures, no pictures. I love ’em all.

I disliked learning to read. Thankfully my mum was firm, insisting that I practise each day before going out to play with my friends. I owe her a lot – thanks to her teaching me to read, whole new worlds have been opened up.

When I had surgery on both wrists for carpal tunnel syndrome, I was unable to hold a book for a few days. It was torture; I’d almost rather read than eat. Eventually, I got around it by pinning the book open on my lap with both elbows. Not very comfy, but it did the job.

One of the hardest things to bear when I was ill was occasionally forgetting how to read (sometimes I’d try to follow words diagonally down the page instead of reading left to right, at other times I couldn’t recognise the words). Then there was being too weak to physically hold the book and turn the page. Adi found a solution for that by downloading the Kindle app to my iPhone and buying me Corrie ten Boom’s The Hiding Place to start me off.

I love my books and having nice bookcases to store them on. Good books are like old friends that you can come back to time and again. Sometimes I’m in the mood for John Grisham, other times I reach for Lee Child. I’m built up by Bill Johnson and Heidi Baker and John Piper.

My favourite book is the Bible. Some bits are hard to understand but I love reading it because it’s alive. There are jewels to be found even in the boring bits of the law in the Old Testament. And the Gospels read like a riveting adventure story. I get to know God by reading the Bible and the Holy Spirit makes it real to me, opening my mind and helping me understand. I’ve been reading the Bible since I was ten, and I’m thrilled when He surprises me by taking me deeper or unlocking the meaning of a verse or passage.

So today, I celebrate books. Especially the one God Himself authored.

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