The book on my nightstand waits like an old friend on the line, voice buzzing through miles of wire into heavy handset, me listening, twisting my fingers in the curl of the cord of words. I’ve known the author all my life, though he never knew me. I repeat his words like they’ve come out of conversation because when I read C.S. Lewis, I feel a camaraderie, the surprise of friendship when you’ve thought yourself the only one and then you find that person who’s thinking exactly what you’re thinking, feeling what you’re feeling…and saying it.

When young Lewis discovered his favorite childhood book on his new friend Arthur’s table, the story went this way, “’Do you like that?’ said I. ‘Do you like that?’ said he. Next moment the book was in our hands, our heads were bent close together, we were pointing, quoting, talking–soon almost shouting–discovering in a torrent of questions that we liked not only the same thing, but the same parts of it and in the same way; that both knew the stab of Joy…. Nothing, I suspect, is more astonishing in any man’s life than the discovery that there do exist people very, very like himself.”

This has happened to me on occasion when I’ve met an instant friend in real life, scoured a life-changing book or even stumbled upon a blog post that seemed to be published just for me.

In every case, someone has to be the first to share, the one to lay the book out on the table.

After I wrote We Play Marbles, exploring the little bit of letting go as my firstborn prepared to enter kindergarten, I got a message from a friend in another stage of life who is opening her arms to let her adult daughter venture into new love and a life of ministry in a faraway land. We shared together in writing and in person and put our arms around one another, “our heads bent close together” both of us knowing “the stab of Joy”.

When we write and share it, we leave the book out on the table in plain sight for the friend who needs to know she is not alone.

{How have you experienced this kind of “friendship” as a reader? How have you experienced it as a writer? What is your biggest obstacle in making your story available for others to read?}

This is Day 5 of my series 31 Days ~ Preserve Your Story, linking up with The Nester’s annual 31 Days of Change.