One of the biggest things I have missed about Lynchburg, VA compared to Trenton, IL is the quantity and quality of book stores.
I’ve always been a big reader, and Lynchburg was FULL of book stores. They had several great, large Christian book stores within a quarter mile of Liberty’s campus, and on top of that, there were the two Liberty Bookstores, and even the Barnes and Noble close by had a “Christian” section that took up a giant chunk of the store, and in all honesty was larger than many other book stores.
Needless to say, there was quite the selection. Of all the stores, two stand out to me as being my most favorable. One was local to just Lynchburg, and it was more a coffee shop that sold books. It was run by this old guy who was in love with the Inklings. The Inklings are near and dear to my heart Authors. The Inklings is the name given to a group of men, friends of C. S. Lewis, who met together in Oxford, England to read and discuss one another’s literary creations. These meetings usually occurred either in Lewis’ residence in Magdalen College or in the Oxford pub called the “Eagle and Child,” or affectionately, “The Bird and Baby.”
Because I am a huge fan of the Inklings, I loved everything about them, the White Hart kind of felt like a home away from home, some place you could escape to and feel like you were surrounded by the inklings, part of their conversation, as you sipped your coffee and read their works.
I have missed that. I have craved for that the last year since leaving Lynchburg, and just haven’t found it. The closest thing would be starbucks at Barnes and Noble, but even that is so far away, both in distance and in relation to what the White Hart was.
Today I took a trek to Missouri, to the closest LifeWay book store, my other favorite store from Lynchburg. It was all so familiar, it felt like I was back in lynchburg, and it was just a refreshing time for me (which I know is weird, its a bookstore).
But I know I’m not alone in this idea. I think each and every one of us have a certain place, a coffee shop, a book store, somewhere that we feel at home that isn’t our home. For some it could be a particular church sanctuary, others it could be the corner booth at a restaurant down the road.
But my hope is that for the youth we Minister to, they would feel this connection with our Youth Room. I want them to feel at home, in their environment every time they come to church.
I remember this past summer taking a group of our student leaders up to my fathers Church in Northern Illinois, and the first night a few of the girls couldn’t stop commenting on how homey it felt. They had never been there, but they felt at home instantly. I’ve thought long and hard many times on how that could be accomplished in our youth room, or in our church. Because those same girls also said how they didn’t feel like our church was “homey.”
So its just something I think about. It felt good today to feel at “home” for a bit.