It happened last Saturday. I had just stepped out of a Lifeway store and was headed to my car. Just as I reached the first car in the parking lot I heard, “Ma’am? Excuse me ma’am!”
“Ma’am? Oh, does he mean me?”
I turned to see a young man sitting in a pickup truck, now directly between the store and me. His window was down and he was looking my way.
“Yep. He meant me.”
The young “cowboy” wore a sleeveless t-shirt and tattoos covered both arms. He needed directions. “Is there a bookstore around here somewhere?”
I thought about looking around for a camera. I mean, really? He was sitting in front of a bookstore. Surely this was a joke.
“Seriously?” I replied. “Lifeway is right there,” I pointed as I declared the obvious. But I could tell he had no idea what Lifeway was by the look on his face.
“Uh, it’s a Christian bookstore,” I tried. Half statement, half question. Still no recognition.
“I’m looking for self-help books,” he added hopefully.
Okay. Seriously, I have no excuse.
I stumbled around and told him I didn’t know the area – which I didn’t. That I had a friend waiting in the car – which I did. Then I suggested he try Sam’s, which was close behind us.
By the time I got to the car, I was kicking myself over the lost opportunity. As I began to tell Janet about the encounter, all sorts of better responses began to pop into my head.
There’s a Book in there (I would be pointing at Lifeway) that will give you help that lasts for eternity.
I have a Friend that can help you with anything and everything.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve quoted or taught or written about 1 Peter 3:15:
But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
This guy needed hope. I know the ultimate Hope.
I blew it.
Praying today that God will give me another opportunity. Maybe I’ll head to Lifeway.
When was the last time you missed – or took – an opportunity to share your Hope?
Oh, and by the way – do you know Jesus?