Guest Editorial: Reading and writing: My old and new friends

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“I think something is wrong with her. She doesn’t want to go outside and play. She sits in the house and read books all day.”

“She’s fine. Leave her be.”

This conversation took place between my mother and grandmother when I was a young girl.

Fast forward to my freshman year in college.

“I’ve never read a whole book before.”

“Wait, seriously?”

This was a conversation between a new college friend and myself.

I still am surprised when I meet people, and their favorite pastime is not reading.

My old friend, reading

I love all kinds of reading material: short stories, how-to manuals, romance novels—Yep, I’m that girl. It all started with teen adventures of love—biographies, self-help and ministry books.

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Although while growing up, I attended church regularly with family, I was not a Bible reader. Unfortunately, that came later, but I am glad to be here now. Even so, I was the Sunday school secretary, and I loved standing before the classes and reading the minutes.

I remember watching the older girls stand and deliver the minutes with such finesse, enunciation and precision. I looked forward to my time and opportunity with great anticipation. My time came, and throughout my junior and senior years in high school, I was the King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church of Milwaukee, Wis., Junior Department Sunday school secretary.

Fast forward to now. Recently, I found myself totally engrossed while reading Job 38-42. I loved how God challenged Job—and us—with who God is—the God who laid the foundations of the earth and so much more. I’ve also been reading Proverbs and gleaning insight from Solomon sharing how to live life well.

One of my fondest memories is being in a room with colleagues and our laptops, being challenged to sit, research or read, think and share our thoughts. It was a little piece of heaven.

Reading always has played a pivotal role in my life. When I was lonely, I read a book for entertainment. When I was happy, I celebrated with downtime curled up on a couch or the bed to read a book. When I did not understand something, was sad or upset, I read.

My new friend, writing

In graduate school, it became apparent that the more I read, the better I wrote. I was being asked to write in a new and more technical and academic way. I was lost, but I got better the more I read. Now, I find myself not only longing for time to read for pleasure, but also to write.

I am so grateful for the Baptist Standard. It affords me the opportunity to read good biblical editorials, commentaries and articles. Further, I am provided the opportunity to share some of my own thinking and thoughts in writing.

So, you can imagine how excited I was when asked to serve as the guest editor this week. Despite work, family and community obligations, I had to make time for this chance occasion to combine my longtime friend of reading and my newfound love of writing.

As the Baptist Standard goes through editing, rewriting and churning from one hand to another this week, all in preparation for delivery to you, I wait with high anticipation to read Zac Harrel’s conceptualization of unity and to study Kris Ward’s technique as she writes about special needs ministry.

Yes, I still am reading and now trying to write. So, curl up with me, and let us lay low and read some God-inspired works.

Lisa M. Rainey, Ph.D., is an experienced educator. She and her husband, Daniel, are members of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield, Texas. The views expressed are those solely of the author.

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