I just have to share this moment. God is so good. He knows I do much better with the flashing light signs and signals and confirmations. He knows that I am more like Thomas than I would ever care to admit. He knows that every once in a while I need a message that tells me that no matter what type of struggles I may be going through or what others may think or say, I'm doing okay in His book. Keep working hard. Keep praying that what you do or say works for someone. Keep believing in the mission. One person could be changed by one word or one book or one bit of kindness.
A couple of weeks ago, I was on the balcony at the store taking a look to see what kind of books I could take for a workshop. We have had a lot of book tables lately...a good thing...and I am grateful. Before I could exit, this big man came toward me and said, "You've worked here quite a few years haven't you?" He had my undivided attention because I was not getting past him anyway. "Yes sir." "Do you have a second?" Here it comes..."I just wanted to tell you that I have come in here since the 1980's and when I first started coming with my friend I was Church of Christ. He convinced me to become Episcopal. We have continued to come into the store a couple of times a year." "Oh. That is great." Then...it surprised me..."Well, I am now studying to be Catholic. I am taking RCIA classes and I wanted you to know that this store has been a large part of my journey to the Catholic Faith." Well, I thanked him for sharing that, truly thanked him and found myself crying as I spoke. I was completely choked up.
You see, my mom has done such an amazing job keeping this Catholic Bookstore up in Nashville against the odds. I say that because when she bought it from the Diocese and enlarged it to the four story building it sits in today, it was really a leap of faith. The percentage of Catholics at that time was I believe 2.5% in Nashville and it may be 7% now. She was very careful to make the store a place for everyone, of all faiths and of no faith. Today there is a flashing sign right in front of me, actually blocking my way, that says that her hard work, her prayer, her belief in the mission, her faith, our God, has made a difference. It was humbling to hear this man speak of his journey, to share his story, to include the store. Completely humbling.