by Carlton Hughes
Who is my favorite modern author? That’s a good, loaded question.
There, that should cover everyone’s ego.
If you’d asked me this question a few years ago, I would have named the author of the books that I was reading most often back then: Laura Numeroff. When my boys were younger, we loved reading her If You Give a . . . series: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If You Give a Moose a Muffin, If You Give a Pig a Pancake. I read those books too many times to count, and they put a smile on my face (as well as on my sons’ faces) each time.
My wife and I are empty nesting now, so I don’t read those books anymore. Sad and surprising, I know. When pressed to name my favorite modern author (other than my friends) of books geared toward adults, there is a clear answer: Joni Eareckson-Tada. No modern author has challenged me or helped build my faith like her.
You probably know Joni’s story: rendered a quadriplegic from a failed dive at 17, she went through the “valley of the shadow of death” yet learned how to live a fruitful, meaningful life for Christ. She writes from the heart, not afraid to share her experiences with suffering and her questions. She has taught me about dealing with struggles while celebrating the small joys in the Christian life.
When I first became a Christian almost 20 years ago, I found Joni’s book Glorious Intruder at the library, and it knocked my socks off. I was so young in Christ that I felt like I was stumbling in the dark, but Joni’s stories of finding God’s hand in everyday life encouraged me. I even wrote her a fan letter (a first for me), and her assistant sent me a lovely card with one of Joni’s paintings on the front—yes, she is also an artist!
On those days when I feel sorry for myself, I pick up one of Joni’s books. Reading a piece or two of hers always makes me feel better, seeing life from a different perspective. However, I discovered something while researching this post: Laura Numeroff has released If You Give a Mouse a Brownie. Laura’s writing and brownies—two of my favorite things! I may have to sneak back into the children’s section.
WRITING PROMPT: Imagine you are in your local library, and you wander into the children’s section. You spot a favorite book from your childhood (or your children’s younger years), and . . .