Monday night of this week, after a school personnel meeting, I quickly stopped in at the Bellevue Barnes and Noble store. I made my usual rounds to my areas of interests, including the Christianity section, where I was looking for a particular Bible version.
Seated on the floor directly in front of the Bibles was a young woman possibly in her late 20s. She was staring fixedly at her phone, which I could see had a lot of print on the screen. When she saw me, she apologized and moved to the side. I told her I was on the hunt for a Bible, and asked, “You’re looking for a Bible too?”
She sighed and nodded. “But I don’t know which one to get.” (Evidently she’d been reading reviews of Bibles on her phone.)
I said cautiously, “Well, I’m a pastor, so if you have any questions, let me know.” I wasn’t sure whether my announcement about being a clergyman would frighten her. Instead, she said “Oh!” quite eagerly.
I began to scan the shelves of Bibles. “Do you go to a church now?” I asked.
“No,” she said. “But I was raised in the Catholic church.”
I selected an English Standard Version and handed it to her. “I’ll tell you what. Why don’t you take two or three versions over to a chair and read through the Book of Ruth, and see which version you like?” I showed her where Ruth was in the table of contents, then plucked an NIV from the shelves and added it to the ESV.
“Thanks,” she said gratefully. “I’ll do that.”
Feeling I had done my duty, I drifted away to another area. But suddenly I remembered that just recently I had introduced my congregation to BibleStudyOffer.com, which gives people the chance to go online and order free Bible studies from either Amazing Facts or It Is Written. But I didn’t have one of the little folders with the website address.
Suddenly I saw a piece of tissue paper on one of the shelves. It had been placed under a high-quality book, probably to keep its edges nice and new. But there was about a five-inch length of paper protruding out and hanging over the edge of the shelf.
They’re not gonna need this, I thought, and ripped it off, and wrote “BibleStudyOffer.com” on it. I went back and gave it to the girl. “Go to this website,” I suggested.
“Thank you!” she said fervently.
And so, now it is in the hands of God. I didn’t even get her name, not wanting to seem too pushy.
And now I’m thinking, Did I show up at Barnes only for this girl? I didn’t find anything to buy. Will she follow up on the Bible study offer?
Please do me a favor and pray for this young lady, whoever she is, that the Bible she longs for will soon become real to her!