If you follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, or read my blog for writers, then you know that I’m a fan of Little Free Libraries. If you’ve never heard of them, then let me tell you what a great idea they are.
A Little Free Library is a large box usually mounted on a post. It holds books that can be borrowed and shared—for free. The idea started in 2009, in Hudson, Wisconsin, and since then it has grown not only throughout the United States, but also around the world. There are more than 6000 Little Free Libraries with more being added every week.
With the help of a local high school’s woodworking class, last month I got a Little Free Library of my very own.
Didn’t they do an awesome job? They even waterproofed it, put shingles on the roof and carpeted the floor.
My goal was to encourage reading by providing books that everyone in my neighborhood might enjoy. I put both Christian and secular books in my library, books for adults and for kids. My only rule is to keep the content family friendly.
When God saw my Little Free Library He must have said, “This is good,” because every day people stop by to see what’s in there. Some have left their own books to share, and in just a few weeks the collection has spilled beyond the library’s two shelves.
“Dennis the Menace” (every neighborhood has one) knocked on my door to tell me that I needed more books for little kids. He donated his copy of The Cat in the Hat. Last weekend, another child left me a note: I LOVE THE LIBRARY! scrawled in big printed letters that almost ran off the page. And God has already used the library to help a broken heart.
This morning, I found a note from someone named Kari. “Thank you,” it said. “I borrowed Will I See Fido in Heaven, and it really helped me. God bless you!” I think I know who Kari is. For years, I’ve seen an older woman walk past my house with her mid-sized, gentle, chestnut-colored mutt. Over time, I had seen them both age. They walked more slowly and less often. Then I noticed the woman walking alone. I hadn’t given it much thought until today, but her dog must have died. She’s grieving, and God comforted her through a library book.
Jesus told His followers, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37–39 NIV)
Maybe you’re looking for a fresh, new way to share God’s love with your neighbors. Then consider putting up a Little Free Library. Stock it with books and watch God turn it into a blessing.
I dedicated my Little Free Library to my dear mom, Betty Ellsworth Fischer, who died in 1999. Little Free Libraries are a great way to honor your loved ones in heaven. On their web page, they provide dedication plaques, or you can make or buy your own.
Don’t be discouraged by the prices of the “official” Little Free Libraries on their web page. For a reasonable cost, you can build your own or find someone in your community who will build one for you.
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