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This is an off-the-top-of-my-head post. Don’t think I’ve ever done one before! But have been chatting with a friend about an author we both appreciate, Stephen Lawhead. I see so many posts on here of people sharing their favorite quotes from their favorite writers. Our little comments this morning dredged a wonderful one up for me.

arthurMy favorite series by Lawhead is his Pendragon Cycle. It’s about King Arthur but actually begins with Merlin’s history in the book Taliesin. As the story wends its way through the books there’s a part where Merlin says a prayer for Arthur’s brave companions (knights) who fall in battle. It was so beautiful and affected me so much that I used it as my daily prayer during my Lenten devotions that spring.

The day before Easter I wrote Stephen Lawhead on a whim to tell him how much I had come to appreciate that prayer. The typed-out prayer is still on my desk where I can read it every day. I didn’t think that note would ever reach him, to be honest, but I got a lovely, handwritten letter back from him. It’s such a treasure. This is the prayer that Merlin would say:

Great Light, Mover of all that is moving and at rest,
be my Journey and my far Destination,
be my Want and my Fulfilling,
be my Sowing and my Reaping,
be my glad Song and my stark Silence.
Be my Sword and my strong Shield,
be my Lantern and my dark Night,
be my everlasting Strength and my piteous Weakness.
Be my Greeting and my parting Prayer,
be my bright Vision and my Blindness,
be my Joy and my sharp Grief,
be my sad Death and my sure Resurrection.

I loved the Celtic-ness about it. And when I would pray that prayer I figured I had covered all my bases. But then the Celtics were like that spiritually.

It always amazes me the different things that affect me from books. It’s such a tribute, I think, to an author to have something make such an impression on you that it changes who you are. That’s why To Kill A Mockingbird has always been my favorite book. The last book I read that did that for me was And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini.

If you have a moment, pull up a rock and tell me what books have affected YOU that way.