June 22, 2013

Little Windows

My back to a cooler filled with Pepsi, Diet Coke, and Mountain Dew, I silently surveyed a wall plastered with signs telling me that "Gun control" means using both hands, and offering ten ways to help me determine whether or not I am a redneck. (I'm apparently not, since I haven't ever discovered a long forgotten car while cutting my grass!)

The harried woman behind the counter helped customers in line ahead of me purchase greasy hamburgers and fries.

Near me a chubby pre-teen girl swept the floor. I complimented her on her thoroughness and she smiled shyly.

The customers finally filed away and I had an opportunity to explain my mission. The harried lady had no money or interest for herself but something (Thank you, Holy Spirit!) prompted her to call the owner from the greasy inner workings of the restaurant.

"She's selling books, they look pretty cool."

"Hey, how's it going? I'm Beth, and we're students working our way through school just trying to do something that's going to last longer than cookies.."

But she wasn't listening to me. Her eyes were glued to the bright blue cover I was placing in her hands.

Peace Above the Storm.

"I have this book!! Someone just gave it to me for my birthday last week!"

"Really??!! Yay!! That's so cool!!" Something prompted me to ask, "Have you enjoyed it?"

Her eyes seemed to grow soft as she replied simply, "It made me cry."

I felt my own face grow softer as our eyes met, a wordless connection of understanding seeming to link our hearts together. It's made me cry lots of times too...

Eagerly she asked about the others, and finally settled on getting God's Answers and Lessons of Love. (Bible Readings and Christ's Object Lessons.)

As she opened the till to pull out a donation for me the girl with the broom reappeared. "What is she doing?" She asked in adolescent bluntness.

"She has books like the one I got for my birthday, remember it?"

Her face wrinkled in a frown, "Hmmmm.. No, I don't think so..."

"The book that made Mommy cry."

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh. THAT one!"

 I wished I could know the burdens of her heart, and what had touched her so deeply.. But she had to tend customers, and I had more souls to meet. We parted ways but I left grateful for this little window into God's great behind-the-scenes work. Somebody we met in the last few weeks got a Peace Above the Storm and passed it on to her at just the crucial moment in her life. Then God kept us from going to her town until after she read the Peace, so that she would take interest in the other two books she needed...

Later in the day, friend Isaac knocked on her door. She eagerly showed him the books she had gotten that morning and encouraged him to talk to her neighbors. The neighbors were kindhearted persons who donated and accepted three books. He told them about her, saying she had gotten the God's Answers and the Lessons of Love.

They responded with surprise noting that it had been quite some time since she had attended a church or shown spiritual interest of any sort. 

And that's all we know.

Just a little peek into one life.

Just enough to know that God is searching after a soul and that soul is responding.

Enough to know that even though we cannot trace the journeys of these hundreds of books we scatter into homes, they are accomplishing a special work. Healing, teaching, helping.. They are silent messengers preaching the truth long after we leave. 

Someday soon we'll get to see the whole picture. We'll find out about the thousands who are being converted in a day who trace their first convictions to the reading of our literature. We'll hear stories that seem unbelievable as we sit side by side along the river of life next to people who we met here in parking lots, gas stations, homes.. Then we'll know what our work has accomplished.

For now, little windows into the behind-the-scenes are enough for me.

Please pray for us!

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this little snippet of your journey with God. I was looking to share "Peace Above the Storm" with someone, but God told me, "Wait for me". I am now attending Sabbath services
    in Centerville Ohio. The people I have met there are the greatest. Always encouraging me to strive to walk with my Creator. My prayers are with you

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  2. Thank you so much for those prayers! It is such an encouragement to know that friends who know God are talking with Him about me! Lots of change in life right now and prayers for Gods direction are very needed. You're in my prayers as well! I never got to visit the Centerville church while I was there for the summer but others in my team did and all they could talk about was how friendly the people are! I'm glad you have such an encouraging group to meet with. God bless you, Justin!

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