As an author, I get to do some interesting things, not least of which are in-store book signings. Last Saturday, at my fourth such event, I discovered again how neat it is when those little ‘God moments’ pop up.
It was still early in the day when the first of my special conversations took place. A customer who recognised me from an event where I had spoken told me with some trepidation how she had resigned her job and was about to start nursing training—at the age of fifty-nine! Would she cope, she wondered, going back to study? At once I knew why God had brought her to my book table.
‘I was fifty-nine when my first novel was released,’ I told her. ‘Now I have six books published and a seventh due out this year! I hope that encourages you.’
Her eyes filled with tears as she picked up my non-fiction book Soul Friend.
‘Please sign this and write in it what you just said, as a reminder of how God has shown me I can do it!’ she told me.
A couple came by next who also decided to buy Soul Friend because they had begun mentoring some younger leaders.
‘We’ve been reading a book called Mentoring Matters,’ they told me.
‘Oh yes, I know the author. See, he endorsed my own book here,’ I responded, pointing to Rick Lewis’s name on the cover. ‘He spoke at my book launch—his book is excellent!’
A little later, I noticed a young woman standing nearby, holding a little girl by the hand. We chatted about my books and about writing in general, and then she told me she had come to find where her own book was displayed. I asked her what her book was about.
‘It’s about miscarriage—it’s called Losing Sammy,’ she told me. ‘It’s some letters I wrote to encourage other women going through the same ordeal as I did.’
She broke off then, as just at that moment, she caught sight of her book on a nearby shelf. I watched the emotion on her face and went to stand beside her.
‘It’s a special moment when we see our own book in a bookstore, isn’t it?’ I said, as she put her arm around me.
‘Yes—and you’re sharing it with me,’ she whispered.
What a privilege!
Later, an older woman came by. She asked my opinion about the suitability of some books of short stories she had chosen as gifts and I was able to tell her that they contained two stories I myself had written. She then looked at my novel, Heléna’s Legacy, which features a young woman left to bring up her son alone.
‘Oh, that’s me,’ she said, as she put the book in her basket. ‘That’s what I did.’
We went on to talk about so many interesting things, including the writings of Catholic authors Henri Nouwen and Thomas Merton.
‘I mention them in my Soul Friend book here,’ I told her.
Immediately, she picked up a copy and added it to her basket too.
‘I go to a Catholic church,’ she told me. ‘I know I will enjoy this.’
I came home convinced that my various conversations had not happened by chance that day. It was as if God had lined up appointments for me—and all I needed to do was show up.
‘Encourage one another daily’, we are told in Heb 10:13. May you too keep finding those God appointments in your own lives each day and experience the joy of encouraging those whom God brings across your path!