Some of my earliest memories involve reading. My mom is helping my brother and I sound out the words on billboards as we drive across country. I am at the library with a big stack of those book/cassette sets ready to go to home. I am carrying a book to the dinner table because I might get a minute to read it. Books have been central to my life, more than any other material thing.

So when I think about where I have gotten most of my guidance about faith and belief and hope, I automatically begin thinking about books. The sarcastic honesty of Anne Lamott has guided me through many of life’s challenges. The intellectualism and sincerity of C.S. Lewis have shaped my theological and psychological thinking about God. The deep belief of L’Engle has urged me to trust that there are “probably impossibles,” things that seem impossible but aren’t with God. Henri Nouwen has guided me through pain and doubt back into freedom and hope. John Eldredge has pushed me to seek a practical, day to day faith that works itself out in communion with God. I have been blessed by the writing of wonderful believers.

More than any pastor I have had (and I have had some wonderful pastors), more than any conversation I’ve participated in (and I have wonderful friends who guide me), books have taught me how to seek God’s face and how to live a life of love in this world. I am blessed to have found their words and blessed to have been able to read them. This is, perhaps, the reason I am a writer today – words have changed me.

What writers have shaped the way you see the world? What writers have deepened your faith or challenged your thinking?

Madeline L'Engle – Madeline L’Engle