Here’s an excerpt of a letter I received this week:
My husband is a high altitude mountain climber. In planning for those extended treks, weight is a very serious concern, even to the point where some climbers cut the handle of their toothbrushes down to nubs. They do take books up, however, in anticipation of being bivouacked for multiple days in unwelcomed storms. Before he left for Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America, I had persistently requested that my husband read your wonderful conversion story, Rome Sweet Home. Without his knowing it I put a copy of it in his pack. On the day they set out for high camp, the team met to discuss what would go and what would not in an effort to pare down their loads. Rome Sweet Home made the cut, not because of its potential spiritual value to them unfortunately, but because of its small size. When a storm did roll in, they ripped the book into thirds, so that each of the three tents could occupy their time reading it. During brief calms, they would exchange the parts.
After a few days of reading parts and rotating, the storm finally broke. They had quite a bit to discuss upon reconvening as a group. One atheist guide, whose first child was about to be born, was convinced after reading your inspirational story to have his future son baptized; and he did. The perfect ending would be to tell you that he chose the one, true Church, but he opted for the Episcopal denomination instead. Maybe your next book, if small enough, can convince him to reach his summit in Rome.