Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Beautiful Cities and Books That Come Alive


Kevin and I just returned from a business trip to Norway and Sweden (and by "returned" I mean we have been traveling for 20 hours and are in Seattle waiting to board our final flight home). Once I finished my work each day, I was free to roam the city far and wide while Kevin remained tied up speaking the language of mobile technology.

I love the freedom of wandering a new city on my own. While I love, love, love traveling with my family, there is something especially delicious when every choice is my own. Want to walk to the other side of Oslo (even though there is a perfectly good tram) and see the sculpture garden? Done. Want to pop into every church along the way? Done. Want to sit in a cafe people watching for an hour? Done. But my favorite is the opportunity these solo days give me to read. I can sit in a new cafe every day, or twice a day for that matter, mixing all those things I love, caf├ęs, people watching and reading. All in a gorgeous Scandinavian city in a cafe filled with super polite people who look an awful lot like me. Except that they're all taller than me but I've forgiven them that.

On this particular trip I was reading Walter Wangerin's novel, The Book of God. The author writes the Bible in a story format, and I was captivated. I loved that the book made the Old Testament clearer to me in terms of chronology, although reading Jeremiah's sad life was hard on my heart. The New Testament, in particular, was so real the people and events seemed to jump off the page and into my own life. I was completely drawn into the story and sometimes found myself crying. In a cafe. In Oslo. I finished the book in the middle of our trip and for days afterwards found myself missing Jesus. I felt so much a part of his every day life as I was reading, that I was lonely for him when the book ended. I've never experienced that before with a book. I'm pretty sure that, in spite of its 634 pages, this is one book I'll be reading again.

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