I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Good Nearby

I just finished reading a novel called The Good Nearby by Nancy Moser. Fantastic read if you’re looking for a novel that addresses contemporary issues like organ donation, child neglect, and the way God uses “the good nearby” to help people in a fallen world.

I don’t really do book reviews here, as much as I find little snippets from books that make me think and then I share them here with you—expanding upon them with my own thoughts. In this particular book, I found something in the note from the author at the end of the book that I’d like to highlight. Moser said the she marvels at how much interest movie stars generate. That’s something I’ve been thinking about recently as well.

We live in a culture that is fascinated with the lives of celebrities. I guess we care about them because we’d like to have their money, or fame, or talent, or looks, or toys. While I understand all of that to a degree, when you get right down to it, they can’t offer us a lot more. Beyond enjoying their talent on the big screen, or little screen, or wherever they put their talent on display, they aren’t really supposed to offer us any more than that.

It makes me wonder what we are missing as we read the tabloids and watch the entertainment television programs and visit the celebrity blogs. With all of this in mind, here are some insightful questions that Moser asks:

“But what about the lady at the bus stop who makes a point of asking about our kids? Or the jolly elderly man in the drive-through window of the burger joint who makes us forget the line was long? Or the stock boy who helps us find our favorite brand of kitty litter at the grocery store and even asks the name of our cat? How do they spend their time? What do they care about? What do they worry about? What is God’s plan for their lives?”

If we all thought a little more about these questions, and then followed through and engaged such people in conversation, I wonder how much richer our lives would be? I admit I’m not very good at small talk, but I’m consciously trying to improve.

A while back I got into a long conversation with a college-age woman who sold me a pair of shoes at a Dick’s Sporting Goods store. We got into a long conversation about sports and which teams we liked and which ones we didn’t. Then I mentioned an athlete who was near the end of his career and she said something like, “Yeah, but he’s old.”

The funny thing is, he was younger than me. I chuckled, thanked her for her help, paid for my shoes, and left the store. The experience wasn’t life-changing, but it was life. And I’m glad I stopped long enough to experience it.


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