I once read the short book by Thomas H. Jones entitled, Narrative of a Slave.
Thomas Jones was a slave in North Carolina. He was sold and separated from his mother, father, and brothers and sisters when he was only 9. He was a very tenderhearted boy who longed for kindness and compassion, but very seldom received it.
When he was about 12, he had a strong desire to learn to read; however, it was against the law for slaves to do so. He found a spelling book and secretly began to teach himself to read. He met a 9-year-old white boy who began to “teach him his letters” and helped him put words together. He studied as often as he could during his free time and work hours at the store owned by his master-owner.
One day, his master discovered he was learning to read and demanded that he give him his book, which he had hidden. Thomas thought to himself that if he gave up his book, he would never learn to read. He wanted to learn to read more than life itself, so he refused to turn his book over to his master. As a result, his master beat him almost to death, but Thomas was willing to die rather than give up his spelling book.
Knowing how to read is a gift! Do we love it more than life? Would we be willing to die for this wonderful privilege and gift of God?
One of the ways “… to grow in grace and knowledge of Christ” (2 Peter 3:18, nasb) is to read the Word of God and good books that teach the Scripture and which bring glory and honor to God. Take advantage of your reading ability as Thomas Jones did, even to the point of life itself!
From Narrative of a Refugee Slave by Thomas H. Jones