For the Love of Dickens

For the past three weeks, I have been intentional about carving out more rest and relaxation in my life. I feel as though God is calling me into a season of abiding, into a time of slowing down, spending more time with him, focusing on relationships, and engaging in things I enjoy most.

I have rediscovered my love of Henry Purcell and have been listening to him every day. I have been watching episodes of my favourite show, I Love Lucy, and laughing all over again at the shenanigans and antics of Lucy and Ethel. (Last week, when I was battling a nasty sinus infection, I wish I had a bottle of Vitameatavegamin to “spoon my way back to health.”)

And I have been reading and reading.

For some time, I have been thinking about the book David Copperfield, and I decided to read it again. Years ago, when I first read David Copperfield, I loved it. This time it’s like I’m in the middle of the story, living it out. I know many people may groan over Dickens, perhaps not having not-so-good memories of him in high school or college; but I think Dickens is one of those timeless authors who totally captures the human experience and who deals with social justice issues that are still relevant to us today.

young Charles Dickens
Young Charles

I could feel little David’s loneliness, fear, and lack of love and being wanted when he was left an orphan at an early age. (Maybe since I live in a society that has thousands of orphans, many of whom feel unloved and rejected, I can relate more to David’s experience.) My heart ached for him when he was shipped off to an awful boarding school and was regularly beaten. My heart leapt for joy when his aunt took him in and offered him her love and protection. I laughed out loud when David, as a young man, fell in love for the first time, living and breathing in his darling Dora, whom he “loved to distraction.” (Yes, our first love is always like that!)

Charles Dickens famously said that out of all the books he had written, David Copperfield was his favourite son; and I couldn’t have agreed with him more.

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