Words of Hope: A Novel Point of View
Dad and I loved to read. I am currently reading Graham Greene’s book, The Ministry of Fear. Greene was a masterful writer and author of one of our favorite books, called The Power and the Glory. This book detailed the martyr of the priests in Mexico during the 1920s. This mass execution and persecution shocked us both. Greene traveled to Mexico to be an author of witness and chronicled this historic time. After reading this book, Dad and I often talked about those martyred for their faith. The story centers on a priest who is afraid and continues to live a debauched life while exposing other priests to capture so that he can live a few more wretched days. This character is both familiar and repugnant. When Dad read a book, he imagined himself in the book and read from the lens of the different characters. Dad loved to read scriptures this way as well.
In Greene’s book, Dad puts himself in each person’s shoes, the police hunting down the priests, the villagers, the traditors, and the martyred. Research shows reading novels and literature improves empathy. Dad used this type of reading to greatly improve his empathy for people. He deeply aspired to love God with all his heart and love his neighbor. He sought to encounter everyone from a place of compassion, listening, and empathy. I am grateful for his example and all the tools and ways Dad worked to become more loving.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another and forgive whatever grievances you have toward one another. Forgive as the Lord has forgiven you and over all the virtues put on love which binds them all together In perfect unity.” – Colossians 3:12-15