Sometimes during my lunch, I like to stop at a popular used bookstore chain and browse. Because books are a passion of mine – although my wife would probably use words like “addiction” or “obsession” – most of the people that work there recognize me.
When I stopped there today, I was delighted to find a newer book by Erwin Lutzer that I hadn’t read, and when I took it up to the register, I smiled because I recognized the young man working; he and I had talked many times about comics and music. We made small talk as he rang my book up and then the title of it caught his eye.
”I know this,” he said, “I heard Pastor Lutzer preach this series on the radio and I liked it so much that I ordered the series on CD.”
I had no idea he was a Christian. He and I had chatted for years and I had no idea he was a brother in Christ. He had customers behind me so any further conversation would be cut short. I thanked him and left to grab a bite to eat. While I enjoyed my burger, I opened the book and started to read. And God spoke to me. I listened.
i went back to the bookstore and he was still working the counter. I handed him the book and told him to keep it. I would find another copy. And I told him after he finished with it to pass it on. We had a few minutes to discuss our shared faith.
I kept thinking how I never had known he was a Christian. But I also realized that it was possible that he didn’t realize that I was either. If he had, we may have had that conversation a lot sooner. And possibly many more of them.
Matthew 7:17-20 talks about good trees producing good fruit and how by their fruits you will know them. Lord, please don’t let my branches be bare. Let everyone see You in me.