You never know…

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You never know…

          Shoppers of many varieties entered the bookstore where I once worked. And they came for many reasons. To use the bathroom, get some coffee, look at the art upstairs, and some even came in to buy books. Many of those who sat at the coffee shop were students wanting a nice place to study and of course to use our Wi-Fi. I always got a kick out of those who were obviously meeting for the first time for a date at a “safe place”.

          The book Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis was a popular college age book sold. I’d always say to the purchaser, “Don’t confuse this book with the little known Mirror Christianity about self-absorbed Christians. Or when they bought the popular devotion Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, I’d tell them about my book idea: Jesus Texting. The last chapter would be BRB.

          One evening a large group of College students passing through town came in to check out the store. As usual I tried to engage the customers and make them laugh. However, I noticed one young lady appeared distressed about something. She hung back from the others and stood by the stairway to the art gallery. She didn’t look like she wanted to be there.

          After coffee, some greeting card and book purchases they all left laughing and having a great time. Later that evening, I noticed someone had drawn a mustache on the picture of Joel Olsteen on the cover of his new book.

          Then things went back to “normal”.

          Weeks later my boss received an email. I will share it below. Who would’ve thought…

“Dear Jon,

          You probably don’t remember me, but I just want to thank you for the impact you’ve had on my life.

          I was in your store on March 18th I believe. I’m a part of the Navigators at Miami University in Ohio and we were stopping through Lawrence as a stop on our way to Colorado Springs for our spring break trip. At the time I was a part of a bible study through the navigators but I only knew a few people on the trip and ended up going kind of last minute, to be completely honest I’m not exactly sure why.

          Just a quick backstory, before the trip I was having a lot of questions on what it meant to trust God completely with my life and I didn’t really understand how I could let go of the control and give it to God and practically what it looked like in my life. I had been talking to a girl I just met in the car on the way to Colorado about it earlier that day and she helped answer some questions I had but I still had not made the decision to fully surrender everything and trust God, but I knew it was something I wanted to be able to do.

          So that night I was in the signs of life book store kinda wandering around by myself and you approached me and asked me if I could be anywhere right then where would I be and I said I didn’t know and you kept asking and I kept saying I didn’t know. In my head I wanted to be at a place in my heart where I could be content and at peace with fully trusting God with my life and surrendering everything to him, but I was too nervous to share that with you. I remember our conversation ended when you said I know you are thinking of somewhere and don’t want to tell me, but I hope you get there tonight.

          Those words had such a large impact on my entire spring break trip. I continued exploring the idea of trusting God and your words were always in the back of my head. Halfway through the week I made the decision to trust God fully and surrender everything to him and I’m just incredibly grateful for how you’ve impacted me. I told the girl I was talking to in the car about what happened in the bookstore and she was telling me how sometimes God works through other people and I’m certain God was working through you.

          Thank you!!! Sorry for the long email. Thanks for impacting me like I’m sure you’ve impacted so many others.”