By Jessica Younghouse, Council Member-At-Large
For me, summer marks the point in time when I finally have a minute to read a few titles I’ve collected throughout the year. As an English teacher, I am often too busy during the school year to truly immerse myself into these literary realities. However, as a lover of all types of writing, I definitely have a preference – novels where characters’ lives intersect. I just started Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, which is set in Nazi Germany, and am anxiously anticipating how Marie-Laure, a young blind woman, and Werner, a member of the Hitler Youth, lives’ intersect. Barbara Kingsolver, one of my all-time favorite authors, effortlessly unites characters in her novels, especially in The Poison Wood Bible, which chronicles the Price family as they travel from Georgia on a mission trip to a small African village to convert heathens. Khaled Hosseini’s historical fiction, The Kite Runner, my most recent read is the one I keep find myself thinking about due to the friendship between two unlikely boys. It’s the type of novel you never quite recover from but develop a fondness.
While I appreciate the literary style of these titles, what captivates me are the friendships that develop during these intersections. Like life, we never truly anticipate the direction or people who become our constants. When Scott and I moved to Georgia 11 years ago for his job, we tried several churches and found our home at Christ the King. We felt welcomed by the parishioners – many have become friends and family. The Bertini’s were our first friends in the area; one Sunday, all of new members were introduced during service and I discovered they lived in New England before moving to Georgia. That being my home area, I made a point to meet them after service. We met the Milejczak’s during a CTK Christmas-themed party a few years later. Cheryl and I realized we grew up a town a part from each other and that we frequented many of the same places. Without these chance intersections, we never would have met these wonderful families, developed meaningful friendships, and solidified Christ the King church as our own.
Pastor Clark has constantly reminded us that it’s the people who make the church. I couldn’t agree more. Without the congregants who reached out and welcomed us, Scott and I may have gone elsewhere. Even though we are established in our church routine, it is still important to welcome new faces as we have all been welcomed. Besides, like literature, it is surprising to discover the connections we share with others once we take the time to do so.
In Christian love.