Thursday, October 02, 2008

Why Books are like Band-Aids.

I am a huge book lover. I love to read. Lately for me it's been a lot of fiction and lighter reading. I'll read a little bit at a time of the meatier books. I think my brain is just too tired to think "too" much. Over the past 6 months or so I had a realization though that books can be like band-aids. What do I mean when I say that?

In my experience, there have been times where someone would recommend a book. I don't have a problem with book recommendations- I LOVE them. The issue is when someone suggests a book to help "fix" a person. Instead of listening to the person's problem they quickly offer a book that deals with that topic. "Oh, you're struggling with such and such... you should read this." I'm not saying don't suggest a book. I think books can be really helpful. I think though that it's important that we are pro-actively caring for the person.

One simple place to start is being quick to listen. Really try and understand what's going on with that person. Offer care, support, and prayer. There are a number of good books on marriage but when a friend called me recently I realized that offering a book and hanging up quickly wasn't the answer. We talked and we prayed together. I continued to pray for my friend and was thankful for the quick reconciliation she and her husband shared.

How quick though I can be to offer fast fixes, cliches, or trite solutions. I think we all could be better listeners. I know this is one area I want to grow in.

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