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6 Degrees of Separation: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

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Six Degrees of Separation is a monthly book meme. Thanks to Books Are My Favorite and Best for hosting. Click HERE to read the rules.

I’ve never read this book, though it’s been around since I was eight years old.

New kid Margaret makes friends, “[b]ut none of them can believe Margaret doesn’t have religion, and that she isn’t going to the Y or the Jewish Community Center. What they don’t know is Margaret has her own very special relationship with God. She can talk to God about everything—family, friends, even Moose Freed, her secret crush.”

“Are You There God” brought to mind a Severe Mercy–one of the first Christian Classics I read. Admittedly at the time I read it because a) a friend paid to send it to me in Malawi, b) I had nothing else to read, and c) it associated him with Wabash College in the bio and friend went there. I ended up not able to put it down. Who wouldn’t want C.S. Lewis in their circle of friends? Sheldon and Davy [wife] are searchers too–they search for Faith, to define faith and to live with three in their marriage (God, of course, being the third).  A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken.

A Severe Mercy brought up C.S. Lewis which immediately brought this book to mind. In the movie, Shadowlands (which I love), Joy Davidman has only one son whereas in real life she had two. This is the memoir of the younger son. who spent the most time in the home of his famous step-father. Lenten Lands: My Childhood With Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis by Douglas Gresham.

Another younger person influenced by the love and emotional care of an older man, a mature Christian, was Maria von Wedeymeyer–the much younger fiance of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. You can read about Deitrich and Maria here in my post about them. Love Letters From Cell 92 is the correspondence that comprised nearly all there was to their “engagement” since Deitrich was arrested by the Nazis at about the same time. Love Letters From Cell 92

Letters from Cell 92 brought to mind another letter during a time of massive injustice–Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letters from a Birmingham Jail.

Writing and jail brought me to Writing my Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison by Shaka Senghor, a book I devoured in about one sitting, but found my emotion to be too raw to write a review. He reformed himself through reading, writing, thinking, meditating while in solitary confinement.

All these prison memories brought to mind my elementary school love, “affair” with Johnny Cash who recorded at least two of his best albums at San Quinton and Folsom Prison and had as a chart-topper the song Folsom Prison Blues. He was given pride of place in the PBS Ken Burn’s documentary on Country Music last year. He had a brief cameo on one of my posts this week, having grown up in clone-community of Arthurdale (See this post). Johnny Cash was also quite a Gospel singer and all but two of these books dealt with the Christian faith. The Man in Black is not really a Christian book, but his gospel music puts it on the borderline. Not quite full-circle with this chain, but if I re-arranged them they could be.

19 thoughts on “6 Degrees of Separation: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

  1. Great chain! I’ve never read anything by C. S. Lewis other than the Narnia books. I should at least read The Screwtape Letters someday.

    I had to read Letter from Birmingham Jail in high school. I usually disliked all of our required reading but I do remember how powerful that piece was.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fascinating post! I read A Severe Mercy years ago – I can’t remember why now and as I didn’t keep the book I can’t check it, but my lasting memory of it is his friendship with C S Lewis. I too love Shadowlands and have read several of Lewis’s books, but not The Lenten Lands – I’ll see if my library has a copy. The other books in your chain interest me too – especially the Dietrich Bonhoeffer books.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I find solitary confinement a very interesting (although daunting) theme. It seems to have the power to completely break you down, or then later rebuild you. The story “The Bet” by Chekhov comes to mind, as does the Marquis de Sade…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I know I am always saying this, but it really is fascinating to see where each of us goes with these ‘starter’ books – I would never in a million years been able to make a connection with Johnny Cash, very clever!

    The book I am most interested in is Lenten Lands, I would love to know what it was like living in that household. I had never heard of this title before, so I am going to add it to my new list of books to read (I’ve given up with all the old ones scribbled on pieces of paper – going to try to be more organised…)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This was a fabulous link up and I share your sentiments. Got a few clever ideas here. Especially with the C.S. Lewis books. Always eager to learn something new.

    Is your start-up cover (for the Judy Blume book) an actual real cover or did you make it? I love it!!

    I am so terribly late for my Six Degrees post this month, but I guess rather late than never still has some merit.

    Here it is! Six Degrees – From Margaret to Anna

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