[leaders’ bootcamp: frankenstein]

[leaders’ bootcamp: frankenstein]

In the post prior to this one I mentioned that I did not know what to expect from this training camp and wasn’t too excited about it at first because I was tired and just feeling blue for some reason. Then my mood went from blah to bad.

Once we came to the camp, immediately we were gathered together, right there with our suitcases and bags, and briefed on what is going on. We were to take a questionnaire and fill it out, give it to the coaches, and only after that we were told which room we live in and stuff.

I decided to be cooperative and cheerfully sat down to write the answers. A few questions slowed me down. Two stopped me completely: favorite author and favorite book.

If you know me, you know that books for me are as necessary as the air that I breathe. I am a reading addict. When I don’t have a book of my own, I read over the shoulder what my neighbors in the trolleybus are reading or examine all the ads on the walls of the metro train. As a result, I have LOTS of favorite books and authors.

I sat for probably 3 minutes before I wrote down Ted Dekker / Dean Koontz as favorite author (could NOT choose between those two) and couldn’t decide what to write for my favorite book. The Bible would be too right of an answer (it’s not just a favorite book, it’s THE Book, therefore it doesn’t count). I joked that maybe I should write Harry Potter just to give them something to discuss over dinner, but then wrote Frankenstein (because I really did enjoy reading that book and want to re-read it again). The entry below was written right after I came to my room, or more like stormed into my room.

They gave me a weird look when they saw what I have written.

“Frankenstein?”
“Yes and there is a ton of lessons to learn from that book, spiritual lessons included. I wrote about it on my blog, can give you the link.”
“Okay,” they all replied but looked unconvinced. How could a good Christian like a book like Frankenstein, their look seemed to say.

I walked away, feeling hurt. I have been judged by the books I like quite often in my life. I had arguments with my mom, my pastor, and a few other people along the way. Books are a very important part of my life and when something that I like so much is judged by the cover? Ugh. I bet those guys haven’t even OPENED Frankenstein. I doubt that they even know who Frankie is and that he’s the creator, not the monster. Dean Koontz gave him the name Deucalion, but in Shelley’s writing he was nameless.

It took me a few hours (until next morning) to get over that hurt. But I have once again learned the important lesson of not judging people by the looks (or the “cover”).

So often I see a person and I automatically decide whether I like him / her or not based on his / her appearance. With time, I have learned to treat most people I meet with respect and trust, but there were times when I was so mistaken in my silly attempt to judge and missed great times of blessings because I did not want to come up to that person before.

And it was funny to me that I have been forced to protect the book that was about the very reason we gathered together for the training – to learn how to treat kids better and correctly. The book that talked about the lack of love and how that can make a monster out of a very loving creature.

Some of the kids I encounter in the camps come with very difficult background. Some have troubles in their families, some don’t have families, some have problems with health, some may have problems with behavior because of all those troubles. Sometimes I am tempted to react to the bad behavior without thinking about the reason for the behavior. Once I do know the reason, it becomes easier to deal with those “problem kids” and they change because they know that you love ’em and you are there for them.

Have you ever read Frankenstein? (Watching a movie doesn’t count).

Do you think that a Christian should read only Christian books or there are lessons to be learned from other books too?

Have you ever judged the person before you got to know them based on one little fact and then realized some time later that you missed a great opportunity to make a wonderful friend?

P.S. If you’re interested in those blog posts that I have mentioned to the coaches, here’s the first one and here’s the second one.

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