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Tuesday, 07 July 2009

The Right Book at the Right Time (A True Story)

By Heinrich von Bünau

Ten years ago I was in a kind of life crisis. I had just come back to my hometown and did not know how to go on. So I did - nothing!

After a while, several people who knew me and perhaps wanted to help me, critisized me very severely for this inactivity! They were Christians like me and in their view, I had started to live an idle and godless life.

I felt wrongly accused and reacted angrily as a result. I got frustrated and at last, sadly thought: "Why don't they understand my situation? Why don't they see that I need more time?"

At that time, I sometimes went to the university to read a little bit in the big library. So one afternoon I had just passed the entrance when I suddenly heard the laughing voice of a young woman: "To err is human!"

Obviously she hadn`t said that to me, but I felt deeply touched by these words. A little bit irritated, I walked on to my favorite place in that library.

Suddenly, a funny thought came in my mind: "Why not take first a walk through the library!" I do not know why, but I gave in that thought and started to walk aimlessly and "blindly" through the corridors. At last I suddenly stopped in front of a book shelf and took a book out of it.

I really had not expected much from it, but now I read with surprise its title, About the Error.

The next two hours I spent reading this book. It became very clear to me that being mistaken is part of our human nature. And has to happen - "naturally"!

Naturally this was not a new thought to me, but in my situation it was a "revelation" to me. Now I felt comforted and was able to forgive my critics. They had been mistaken, but they had acted – humanly.

[EDITORIAL NOTE: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


And the other part of that quote is: to forgive is Divine. You were shown how to do that and to forgive the criticism of the townspeople.

I do think you were magnanimous in doing so, however. They were so wrong to judge you. I think they forgot their Christianity.

Very nice story - it reminds me of the famous story about St. Augustine's conversion, when he overheard the children saying "Take and read."

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