I'd step out of the light of day and onto the squeaky wood floor in search of buried treasure. It was my own personal library, but the best part was: I could read the books and then I could keep them! No stamps inside warning that this was a "14 day book," no falling in love with a whole fictional family only to have to dump them on a library counter at the end of the month.
I was allowed to buy all of the books I could carry, pretty much.. and this because of the kind man who took me to the bookstore. My father, who (okay, I'll admit it) spoiled me. Rather than leaving me home on a Saturday so he could go rummage for his own treasures at "our bookshop," he patiently took his bubbly little buddy and shelled out who-knows-how-much for mystery stories I would stay up much too late reading. I think back now and imagine the one sided "conversations" he had to endure on the drives home, as I cradled newfound treasures in my arms (no putting them in a bag for me, no sir) and rattled on about this being the EXACT Nancy Drew I've been wanting and oh LOOK at the green cover on this book it's JUST like leather and omigosh I once got this one from the library and then couldn't find it ever again and oh Daddy isn't this just the best BEST day?
Today I live surrounded with shadows of our bookshop. Shadows of a good kind, as I savor the comfort of books lining walls of my home. Shadows of a better kind, as I thank God for a father who was generous with his attention and his time. These shadows of the better kind are ones I hope I've passed along to my own children, and now to my grandchildren as we share games and books and make-believe. I pray to be generous with my attention and my time, helping them make memory-shadows of their own.
And I live with shadows of the best kind, because the generosity and attention of my earthly father was, itself, a dim shadow of the attention of my Heavenly Father.
I can only imagine how HE looks upon me when I accept with joy His outpouring of gifts. Think of how it must please Him when we bubble over with thanks and praise.
There are treasures all around, if I just look for them. It is again time for some counting, and some thanking. And who knows? I might even bubble just a bit....
(this is a slightly edited version of a post from our archives)
Photo on this post © 2015 N Shuman