“Sometimes the best books are hidden gems that you didn’t even know were out there!”
― Carmela Dutra
Saturday, after working on my gardens for the past two days, I decided I needed a reward.
Deciding what it would be was easy.
I was going to check out the used book store I’d been driving by for the past few months.
“It was like walking into a treasure trove of books, hoarded by pirate librarians.”
― Pseudonymous Bosch, The Name of This Book Is Secret
I was really psyched to explore this place.
From the outside, it seemed very small. In fact, as I parked my car–one of two in the parking lot–I began to wonder if it was worth my time.
As I walked through the door, I felt I’d entered another dimension. I was completely engulfed by books. All around me were rooms and rooms filled with books. Each space labeled with handwritten signs–Westerns, Romance, Horror, Mysteries, Self-Help, New Age, Religion, Cooking, Reference…shelves covered every wall from floor to ceiling with over flow books standing in stacks on the floor.
I had found the mother lode of books.
In this amazing place I found two little books sitting in spots where they seemed to call out to me–like they’d been waiting for me a very long time.
The first book is pictured above.
The cover is worn and heavily creased, the original price clearly visible, $1.65. The date of publication noted as November 20, 1975.
The pages are brittle and yellowed without any inside wear or markings. The most surprising part of this little book was it was filled with its own treasures.
Pressed between pages were several prayer cards, a Christmas card from Rome signed by Father John wishing the recipient a Happy New Year and telling them they’d been remembered in his Christmas Midnight Mass, a book mark from the March of Dimes, a tiny drawing of a curly-haired girl dressed in brown button dress, wearing a straw hat, holding a bouquet of yellow and blue flowers, and two beautiful prayers written by Helen Steiner Rice.
I’d like to share one of those prayers with you today:
Often we pause and wonder
When we kneel down to pray—
Can God really hear
The prayers that we have to say…
But if we keep praying
And talking to HIM,
He’ll brighten the soul
That was clouded and dim,
And as we continue
Our burden seems lighter,
Our sorrow is softened
And our outlook is brighter
For though we feel helpless
And alone when we start,
Our prayer is the key
That opens the heart,
And as our heart opens
The dear Lord comes in
And the prayer that we felt
We could never begin
Is so easy to say
For the Lord understands
And gives us the new strength
By the touch of His hands.
~Helen Steiner Rice
God bless you and may you find treasures of your own.