By Luther Blackmon
Dr. Howard W. Pope tells the story of a young lady who read a book, and having completed it, remarked that it was the dullest book she had read in many a day. Not long after this she met a young man and in time their friendship ripened into love. They became engaged. During a visit in her home one evening she said to him, “I have a book in my library which was written by a man whose initials and even his name are precisely the same as yours. Isn’t that a coincidence?” “I don’t think so,” he replied. “Why not?” “For the simple reason that I wrote the book,” he said. Dr. Pope concludes the story by saying that the young woman sat up until the early morning hours to read the book again, and when she had finished reading it the second time she thought it was the most interesting book she had ever read. It was not dull at all. She found it fascinating! Why the change? Simple. She knew and loved the author.
Another story with the same meaning concerns the 23rd Psalm, and a contest in a class on public speaking. A young minister with a clear strong voice recited the psalm aloud to the audience. His pronunciation was perfect. His diction left nothing to be desired. When he had finished the psalm the audience cheered loudly. Then an old man rose from his seat and in a cracked and faltering voice recited the same scripture. When he had finished the audience sat in silent respect and awe. “What caused such different reactions in the audience?” asked a listener. “Well, you see,” someone explained, “the young man knew the Shepherd Psalm; the old man knew the Shepherd.”
Here we have a paradox. You cannot know the author apart from his book (the Bible). But our love for the author increases in proportion to our practical knowledge of his book.
Truth Magazine XX: 33, p. 514
August 19, 1976