Library News – July

People are very generous to our Church Library. They leave boxes and bags full of books in the tower space, or they bring me books they hope I can use. We are given surprising and wonderful books. I don’t always catch up with organising them, though.

Just lately a combination of me being not very mobile, some generous gifts of books, and the tower space being blocked off for that splendid Flower Festival left the Library in more than usual disarray. I’ve just been rearranging it.

I thought at first I could just put the extra books into the same shelves as before, but no. I found that books had been put back all wrong, so there was a muddle to sort out. Then I saw that “Bible Study” had spilled over into “The Christian Life”, and the “Prayer and Meditation” section had taken over “How to Look at a Church” and that some books were too tall for their shelf and had been put somewhere random. I sat there and despaired.

I had to be ruthless. Taking a shelf out made headroom so the big books could go into their right sections. “Prayer and Meditation” now has two shelves all to itself. “Bible Study” has expanded, though it shares its second shelf with “People and their Lives”. “Help in Time of Trouble” has shifted to the second bookcase, giving it more room. I did retire some of the older books.

As I knelt there sticking labels back on, I thought that ruthless reorganisation like that is something we could all usefully do from time to time with our own lives. When we’re overcome by muddle, or shut out from where we hoped to be, or we’re in a real mess, it’s worth pausing and looking at which bits of our lives have spilled out of control, where we could make more headroom, which old habits we could usefully retire, and where we could find more space for our prayer and meditation.

I haven’t quite finished the rearrangement yet. The Bibles and the children’s books are all still muddled up. It’s going to take time and thought. But then, rearranging my life isn’t finished yet, either. It’s going to take time and prayer…

Rosemary Smith

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