My Subversive Books (& What They’re Showing Me)

She didn’t want potato chips,
She didn’t want new clothes.
She went straight to the bookstore.
“May I have one of those?

Sarah Stewart, The Library

If I told you the books sitting on my desk right now, I’m not sure what you would think about me.

Out of the twelve books I can see from my view currently, over half of them would probably be considered subversive when it comes to the systems of education and religion.  

Books have been gentle, patient, and generous mentors for me when there weren’t always people around me who I could trust.

They expanded, sometimes exploded, my worldview, challenging me to rethink my posture or let go of my assumptions, but with thick layers of grace woven throughout every page.

Books don’t rush us through transformation. They sit with us in our spaces and seasons, waiting for us until we’re ready to go further. Books open us to revolutionary ideas and new perspectives we might not have considered otherwise.

Books can carry us across thresholds quietly, without fanfare, their words like a generous companion offering us courage to fly out the window into our Neverland.

Pay attention to the pages you are perusing. They reveal more than you might realize. Books are not mere entertainment to keep our minds occupied, although they can remain at that level if we want.

But a book’s real purpose, the words we hold close to our chest before dozing off to sleep, is to point us to our hidden dreams or neglected passions.

The books sitting on our nightstand or at the bottom of our bag could be the keys to a treasure trove of wisdom we’ve been dreaming about, enticing us to move against the grain of our natural tendencies… today.

The crinkled pages we can’t wait to crack open in the silence of the early morning are hinting at our most poignant questions, the rumblings in the recesses of our soul, questions we simply cannot, and should not, ignore anymore.

I want to be more like the books I’m reaching for and inviting into my life these days.

  • Unoffended and excited by people’s struggles and concerns, gentle enough to stay with them as they wander and follow the rabbit trails and find their way slowly.
  • Having an uncanny ability to lean into the silence and lead others into their wilderness, encouraging them to stand under the stars, escape the crowds, and listen to their nagging aches and unvoiced longing without the pressure to pull it together already.
  • Allowing the pages of my soul to become a little worn and tattered like that of used book who’s passed through thousands of hands and come along for many adventures.
  • And most importantly a safe place for others to share peculiar secrets, try on crazy ideas, process lingering grief, upend saggy traditions, or fling your wildest ideas through the door of possibility

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.