In addition to being the most wonderful group of girls on the face of the planet, my mission team was also well read.
I felt Jesus smile every time one of them pulled out a book.
I firmly believe that God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit love a good novel.
Afterall, they wrote the Bible.
That’s part of the reason why I became a Christian.
The Bible is a rather enthralling read.
Spoiler alert: Jesus wins.
Anyway, typically before bed, our group would have reading time. We would all pull out our books, take a seat in the corner, and read a chapter or two. I could go on and on about reading (my group probably wanted to bludgeon me to death with Moby Dick by the end of the trip I talked so much about books), but you can tell an extraordinary amount about a person from the book they choose. One night I looked around and realized that each book perfectly described the girl reading it. For example:
Ariel, funny, hopeful, and generally even-tempered, was reading Francine Rivers’ “Voice in the Wind.”
Tesia, sassy, brash, and full of vim and vigor, was reading Kathryn Stockett’s “The Help.”
Meredith, introspective, calm, and thoughtful, was reading Brennan Manning’s “Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging.”
Rachel, dramatic (in a good way), full of wit, and playful, was reading Francine Rivers’ “A Lineage of Grace.”
I was reading “True Grit” by Charles Portis.
I’m still not sure what that says about me.
Usually, we stayed quiet during reading time, but every once in a while one of us would be inspired to make conversation. Whether the topic at hand was a result of something we had read, seen, or experienced, it was always entertaining.
Ariel: My cousin just got engaged.
Tesia: So your grandpa can finally have a wedding.
Ariel: No, he knew about that one. He was talking about us. He doesn’t like cake so we said, ‘Grandpa, you won’t even eat cake at our weddings?’ and he said, ‘I’ve just about lost all hope for that.’