'Right in the middle of the store ...'

by Patricia James, posted Friday, March 27, 2015 (2 years ago)

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (BP) -- While straightening the shelves at our LifeWay Christian Store in Fort Worth one day during the winter, I looked up and saw a lady in the Bible section who looked completely lost. I went over to her and asked if I could help.

Patricia James
Asking some additional questions, I learned she wanted a Bible but had never read one before or even been to church. She was starting from square one.

I then began to explain to her what kind of book the Bible is -- a uniquely inspired one -- and why it's so important for us to read it. She seemed receptive.

She said she had looked at some of the student Bibles, but just didn't know which one to get.

So we walked back over to the student Bibles, and I showed her a life application Bible -- the one that first helped me understand the Scriptures and learn how to apply them to my life. After showing her some of its various features, she said she loved it and took it into her hands.

The whole time talking with her, all I could hear in my head was Jesus saying, Tell her about Me, tell her about Me.

So, I walked her over to a quiet corner in the Bible section and began to share Jesus with her.

After I had explained the Gospel, I began to tell her a little bit of my own story. As it turned out, she and I shared a similar struggle, and I could see that what I was saying was resonating with her. I went on to tell her about the freedom I had found in Christ, and how I now had peace and joy where there had once been anger and bitterness.

We set off across the store talking about how God's forgiveness enables us to forgive others, and how we all desperately need God's forgiveness.

I told her about how Jesus wants to come into our lives and take away the anger, bitterness and sadness, and replace it with His love, joy and peace. I told her Jesus wants her to know Him, and all she had to do was turn to Him in faith, asking for His forgiveness, and He would come into her life forever. Then I asked her if she wanted to know Jesus like I did, and she said she did.

So, right in the middle of the store on a Saturday afternoon, she asked Jesus to come into her life. When she said "Amen" and looked up at me, the anger and bitterness had disappeared from her eyes and only peace remained.

Sometimes I get discouraged when I feel like we're not making a big enough impact. But then there are days when I get to witness God change a customer's life through our ministry at LifeWay. Thankfully, these days far outweigh the others and they remind me to keep serving God faithfully in the down times knowing that our labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Patricia James is an associate at the Fort Worth (Texas) LifeWay Christian Store. This article first appeared in the LifeWay employee publication LifeLines.
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