If ever I was surprised about the contents of a book it was upon discovering the story behind the title, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Mrs Harriet Beecher Stowe. I have never been more delighted and dismayed by a tale.
Two books I kept, from my Nana’s house after her death, I kept simply because I’d heard of them. Vaguely, I knew, they were classics that I should have read, but hadn’t. Both copies, well thumbed, even underlined inside, were clearly favourites of someone. So, I took Ben Hur and Uncle Tom home with me believing, one day, I would get to them.
Last holidays, miraculously it seemed, I had time to read. So, I picked up Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Little did I know, as I carefully PVA glued the binding before I began, I would be reading the most thorough treatise of both Christianity, and American Slavery in the one volume.
What a beautifully written book. Have you read it? It may be “old speak” but boy, did it speak to me. I cried, I laughed, I was convicted, I was moved to act.
If you need encouraging, motivating, spurring on. If you want to think hard about life, birth, privilege, integrity and what you can do for others. If you have questions about Christianity. If you don’t know anything about slavery or you forgot. I encourage you to read it. Read, read, read it.
Here is a little taster:
Have not many of us, in the weary way of life, felt in some hours, how far easier it were to die than to live?
The martyr, when faced even by death of bodily anguish and horror, finds in the very terror of his doom a strong stimulant and tonic. There is vivid excitement, a thrill and fervour, which may carry through any crisis of suffering that is the birth-hour of eternal glory and rest.
But to live – to wear on, day after day, of mean, bitter, low, harassing servitude, every nerve dampened and depressed, every power of feeling gradually smothered – this long and wasting heart martyrdom, this slow, daily bleeding away of the inward life, drop by drop, hour after hour – this is the true searching test of what there may be in a man or woman.
It was devastating, and encouraging at the same time, to read a book like this. I hope you are encouraged to look for it too. I intend to read it again. I now understand, why all the underlining, and notes in the margin.
I still have Ben Hur by me, on the bedside table, along with my reading glasses because the print is smaller than most bibles. I have read the introduction, and am delighted that it too is a Christian story, but I think I may need to wait till the next holidays to do it justice.
I hope you are encouraged to read some great Christian classics. I’d love it if you have any to recommend to me, I am all ears!
Be blessed, be encouraged,
Lots of love,
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