Have you ever considered how reading is actually thinking with the mind of another? As we read, we let the author, whether it’s Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, or Toni Morrison to think inside our head. As we read, we think their thoughts about war, peace, love, death, hope, and loss. Sometimes their words will comfort us; sometimes they will challenge us. But often their words will plant a seed within us. They will open our eyes to new ways of thinking and living. It is the same with Scripture. When we open the Bible and begin to read the ancient, timeless words, we think the thoughts of another—not only the words of the human authors and translators, but those of another author: the Author of all creation.
Lord, open my eyes to your word,
that I will always read it more clearly.
Lord, open my ears to your word,
that I will hear your message more completely.
Lord, open my heart to your word,
that I will be filled with the love that is always found in you.
Make time today to read something—a poem, story, or perhaps one of the psalms. Ponder for a few minutes the words, and let them sink into your thoughts, your heart, your soul. What made this writer want to say these things? Feel yourself being opened to a different point of view. If it feels uncomfortable, that’s OK. You don’t have to agree with what you read, but it is good to rest for a time in the discomfort. Those are often the places where we need to grow.
1 thought on “Thinking with the Mind of Another”
Whenever I read a book, the first thing I want to know is who is the author and is the author a good person or a bad person. If the author is evil, then I won’t want to read the book. What for? I don’t need more negative influences in my life. I get that enough on the 6 o’clock news, but I’m not going to put my head in the sand either. I still think it is important to know what is going on in the world. I also avoid ugly or prurient pictures, since that would be more negativity again. I want to keep my life as simple as possible. Simple is good.