George Worthy

Have you read any good books lately? I have given up rating films as someone always has a different opinion. However, books are another thing. I’m always looking for good books. “To Kill a Mocking Bird” or “The Yearling” are a couple of books that will get the attention of your children if you let them read them or you read to them.

The reason I ask is because someone is always suggesting books for me to read. I can’t figure out whether they want to show me how real writers write or to keep me busy, so I don’t make any more suggestions. For instance, I am reading a book someone gave me some time ago. I didn’t ask for it, but it has captured me in a way that most books don’t. It’s called, “You Are Never Alone.” It is written by Max Lucado; perhaps you have heard of him concerning another book he may have written.

As I said, someone gave it to me. I didn’t plan on reading it right away, so it stayed on my nightstand. I saw it every morning and evening, but the desire to read it just wasn’t there. Then a series of events caused me to pick it up and start to read his prose.

Mr. Lucado couldn’t know how that would affect me, but as I read it I started wondering how he could have known how much I needed to read this book. From the title you can probably ascertain that it isn’t a cowboy novel, but more it is an examination of certain parts of the bible.

I am a member of this page on Facebook named “Vietnam Veterans, The Best of the Best.” It is a great group of Vietnam veterans discussing how the government abandoned us after the war was over. How veterans that were too close to the action couldn’t get back into the civilian life and how hard the VA was making it to receive their claims.

There are stories that will curl your hair about how the veterans of the venture our government conducted to start an air war with China. I don’t want to bore you, but suffice to say they were ignored for the most part.

The other day I was reading one of the entries about how he couldn’t even get a letter back from the VA. His actions after the war had cost him his wife and child and how he felt so alone. It was a heart-wrenching story that we veterans have heard many times, but the ending of his comment was what hit me particularly hard. 

His confession that he was so alone reminded me how I had felt at one time. This was before I met Lorraine and God had sent me my three children. That he felt so alone. I read the entry twice because his words were endemic on this site. As I lay there feeling some sort of kinship with this fellow, it hit me. The book was laying on my nightstand.

Something clicked. Some deep emotion washed over me. The book that I had been ignoring was right there. I picked it up and started to read. (They were short chapters.) After the first chapter, I promised myself that I would read a chapter every night until I finished it. I honestly did not think that this book was anything other than a good read at that time.

When Austin and Reed were very young, I would sit in their room and read the Bible to them. They were too young to understand what was going on, but they liked sitting in my lap until they drifted off almost as much as I did. I didn’t know a lot about the book I was reading, so I just started at the front and read.

I admit the story in a story was a little hard for me to absorb, but I felt better doing it, and until they decided they didn’t want me to read to them any more I continued. I truly wasn’t reading to them to explain the Bible, but just to understand all the places you can go through reading.

To be honest, I didn’t know enough to explain to them, as I said it just made me feel better. So, I kept reading. The reading habit is a difficult one to break if you are looking for adventure or love or whatever. I didn’t even know I was looking for a few answers until I read this book by Mr. Lucado.

He explains the chapters of the Bible in a down-to-earth way, always inserting God’s actions. So I got back on the net and reached out to the fellow that had been so lonely. I told him about the book and how it had touched me very deeply. He wrote back that he would give it a try and thanked me for my actions. He said that he was thankful for my input and I like to think that he meant it. 

I don’t think I will ever know as he has dropped off the Facebook page, so I just have to hope that he would get as much out of the book as I did. However, I am happy to tell you that I certainly like the book.

Mr. Lucado leads the reader through the crucifixion of Christ and his resurrection. You are taken on this trip much like a ride at Disneyland. You are an observer of God’s miracles, and if you are like me you have a new appreciation of words on paper that explain why we feel lonely and what it takes to assure that you are never alone again.

I probably should point out that thanks to my family I never get lonely anymore. The minions of the VA are not mean people, it’s just that they don’t get paid to hand money out. They have a series of tests one has to go through before they can approve veterans’ claims. Some claims are more evident than others.

I tell the men and women who post on the Facebook page to never, never give up. That’s not a bad recommendation to all who are lonely and need a hand.

God Bless.

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Gonzales columnist George Worthy may be reached at [email protected].


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