When The Library Is Still Open…

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TheDiscipleMd

My Father passed away at 93 earlier this year, but his magnificent library is still influencing me for the good. His vast collection of great books that uplift and inspire, was divided at his death among his posterity, including me, his son. I am now the proud owner of some of his books, which took him a lifetime to accumulate. Recently I picked one up. Prominently placed on the blank white page near the front of the book is his embossed stamp, and his signature. Both signify that it is an ‘official’ book from my father’s library. But there was something else. Written in his handwriting was P.47. Interesting I thought.

As I browsed the book I could see that he had many underlined thoughts on many different pages. But, I surmised, there must have been something special on page 47. So I ventured.

“Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.” (“The Road To Character” by David Brooks)

My father’s library door, which he left ‘slightly ajar’ during my youth, is still beckoning me to come in and bask in it’s knowledge. And although the curator is no longer the keeper, his love of good books lives on. So, as I sat there that night, with book in hand, I couldn’t help but read the one written word of his on page forty-seven- “Copy” and think, “Copy that Dad! And Dad, thanks for the message. Because it helps me on the road to character, that you always taught me to find. I will do my best. With moist eyes, I closed the book, ran my hand over the front of the cover and was again blessed from my Father’s library, that is still open.

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