Why Reading Sometimes Takes You Where It’s Difficult To Go

I’d Rather Be Reading

If there was one thing I could do, any time I wanted, for as long as I wanted, it would be to read.  If I had no other responsibilities, I would be content to sit in a nice, quiet spot with a good book for hours on end.  My husband has probably heard me say “just one more chapter” hundreds of times.  Having more time to do the things you love, like read, is one of the perks of living in the empty nest.  And I do love to read.

My favorite genre is historical fiction.  No surprise there since I used to teach U.S. History.   I’m particularly fond of time-slip novels, a novel where one or more story lines from the past is connected to one from the present.  I’ve read six such novels this year alone.

I enjoy novels set in England — one of my favorite places.  In the past, I’ve read several novels set in England during World War II.  I’m trying to read books from my bookshelf at home.  This year, I’ve ended up reading two books set in France during World War II.  

World War II Novels

The two books I read were very good.  The stories were compelling and there was a sense of mystery and suspense. What would happen to the heroine?  The stories were a testimony as to how much the human spirit can endure in the face of extreme adversity.  

While these particular novels were good, they were not easy to read.  They were fiction, but based on actual historic events during World War II.  

It was disturbing to read about the atrocities which took place during the German occupation of France in WWII. People’s homes being taken over by German officers, neighbors turning on neighbors and co-workers turning on co-workers just because they were Jews.  Jewish families being evicted from their homes and children being torn from their parents, and after their separation, being sent to death camps. The desperation of a people trying to survive horrific circumstances.  The inhumanity of one group of people towards another was sickening.

It was especially difficult to read parts of these novels because they are based on historical events.  It’s not something an author made up.  It was even more alarming to realize that these things took place less than 80 years ago.  There are many people still living who remember that dark period in history.  

I’m working on writing my friend’s story about her family’s escape from Germany during the war.  She was just a child but her memories are vivid.  Perhaps that is why I’m drawn to all of these WWII novels.  More about this another time.

Here We Go Again

Our attention is again drawn to a part of the world in the middle of a volatile situation — Afghanistan.  The images from the media give us a glimpse of the chaos. The lengths with which people are going to escape the country is heart-wrenching. The pleas from the people stuck in the turmoil make us feel so helpless.  

Given the Taliban’s history, we can only imagine the fate of women, children, Christians, U.S. or allied citizens and anyone else who aided the U.S. during the past twenty years.  Another round of inhumanity is on the horizon.

There is not much we can do here, half a world away, but, we certainly can pray.  I hope that we can all take a break from the endless conflict and division over masks and vaccinations and instead storm the gates of heaven with our prayers for the people in Afghanistan.  They desperately need it.  Our world desperately needs it.

Pray For Afghanistan, Pray For The World, Pray

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