In 1904, Jewish writer Franz Kafka wrote to a friend, “If a book does not wake us…why do we read it? …A book must be the ax to break the seas frozen inside our soul.”
Certainly, many people of faith have found this to be true. Stories—the spiritual and the secular—increase our empathy, understanding, and love for our neighbors.
Stories in books—like Jesus’ powerful, provoking parables–carry us like boats across barriers of geography, time, experience, culture, religion, and more. Whether through a printed page, e-reader, or audiobook, we connect deeply with unexpected folks (real and fictional). Walking in their steps, hearing their thoughts, and discovering a world unknown to us can enrich our faith. What’s on your bedside reading table?
This message is an excerpt from “Books, boats and frozen seas” by Elizabeth Hunter in the June 2020 issue of Gather magazine.