Our neighborhood book club is reading this

which you can find HERE, if you have not read it.  An easy read about the program during the depression called "Packhorse Librarians" which provided reading material for the impoverished Appalachian Mountain area.  This program was begun by President Roosevelt under the WPA umbrella in an effort to provide jobs and supply reading materials to the rural uneducated.  Having just finished re-reading the book, I came away with a new perspective on all it encompasses.  The story is NOT just about trying to educate those who are living far away from opportunities for education.  This story has so many facets in one fact based fiction book, that I cannot begin to go over them all in one short blog.  Today I will take one of the main points the book is making and leave the rest for another discussion.

The story may revolve around the packhorse (or mule in this case) librarians, but the real story centers on man's prejudice toward his fellow man.  The librarian was part of the "blue people" found in the mountains.   This color was caused by a genetic condition which caused a deficiency of an enzyme in their blood which helped with the blood oxygenation.   Even when confronted with there being no real difference in the librarian and her fellow man--the color difference  could be corrected~ her "difference" was not forgotten.  The librarian took the medication, which caused severe side effects, in the hope of being recognized as being white.  Sadly because she had once been different, no one was willing to admit she might be the same as them.  She was forever marked by "difference", even when it was not longer there.

Man's inhumanity to man in a world where we need above all else to love one another is limitless.

How quickly we focus on our differences instead of recognizing our similarities.  Perhaps it comes from fear, perhaps it comes from lessons throughout our life, but for some reason we focus on how different we are from each other instead of the overwhelming number of similarities.  The basic need to be loved, love of our children, hope for a better tomorrow, grief in the midst of loss, and on and on bind us together.  And yet, we are drawn to that which make us different--whatever that might be.

Praying we can all begin to look at one another through the lens of Jesus.  What would He say about those who are "different"?  It seems to indicate in The Word, he gravitated toward them.  He reached out to form relationships with the very ones others avoided at all cost.  He recognized they had needs just like the Jewish people from which He came.  They needed Him just as much as God's Promised People did.  Jesus loved those who were different with the same intensity as those  who were part of "His Tribe".  Praying I can do the same.

"May the God of endurance and encouragement

grant you to live in such harmony with one another,

in accord with Christ Jesus,

that together you may with one voice 

glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Romans 15:5-6

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1 comment

  1. Oh, yes, Lulu, if only we would focus upon our similarities, not our differences. That's what I strive to do everyday, especially in these contentious times in which we live. May we all love like Jesus!


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