‘My wife has drifted from the Lord,’ the man said softly. ‘Would you say a prayer for her?’
‘Of course I will.’
I wrote down the man’s name and the name of his wife in my little notebook, the one I always carry to book signings. The man bought a copy of my book and took my card—but it was the conversation that stayed with me.
As he moved on, I sat back in my chair and drew a breath. ‘Well, Lord,’ I exhaled, ‘This is what I’m here for. I’m available.’
’This is what I’m here for. I’m available.’
A young lady with three children in tow approached my book signing table. She picked up a book about singledom and a smile spread across her face. ‘This would be perfect for a friend of mine,’ she said. ‘Wonderful!’ I enthused. ‘This book makes for a great gift.’
She took it to the counter to pay for it and returned to me for an autograph. I wrote a simple message of blessing on the first page inside the book. ‘I hope this really blesses your friend,’ I said, handing the book over with my card tucked inside. She was all smiles. She ushered her children out the door, and I wrote her name in my little notebook.
A middle-aged lady passed my table and slowed down to read the book titles. I smiled under my mask, hoping to make eye contact. She looked up, caught me smiling at her and said hurriedly, ‘I’m just looking.’ ‘No worries!’ I replied, effecting nonchalance. I watched her escape. Maybe she’ll come back later, I thought hopefully.
An older couple wandered up to my table with a young man behind them, carrying the spoils of their shopping. The lady picked up my book on childlessness. ‘I don’t need this book,’ she began, ‘As I was blessed with a son.’ Here she gestured to the young man. ‘But my husband and I had major struggles with becoming pregnant.’
She put the book down and looked at me. ‘I wish I’d had your book twenty or thirty years ago.’
’I wish I’d had your book twenty or thirty years ago.’
I put my hand on my heart and thanked her. I said something about how common these issues are, how important it is to talk about them, and I wished them a good day. I made a note in my little notebook, my head swimming, my heart overwhelmed.
An older lady passed my table, heading for the exit nearby. She paused and approached me. ‘I just wanted to say,’ she said in a gentle voice, ‘how wonderful it is that you are writing about childlessness. A much-needed book.’
I was momentarily stunned into silence. ‘Wow, thank you,’ I managed to reply. ‘Yes, we need to talk about this issue, don’t we?’ She nodded, smiled, and was gone.
No one passed my table for a few minutes, giving me time to catch my breath. I felt a little teary. Five years of work, writing this book on childlessness, putting it out there, hoping it would reach people, and someone gave me a compliment like that. It didn’t matter that the lady didn’t buy a book. In that moment, I felt like I was on track, exactly where God wanted me to be.
In that moment, I felt like I was exactly where God wanted me to be.
And I sensed him smiling.
I sold a few books during my latest book signing at Koorong. I gave a few cards away and invited people to ‘check me out online’. And I wrote down names to pray for and grabs of conversations that stood out to me, reminders that God had me exactly where I needed to be.
Have you ever felt like you were exactly where God meant you to be? Have there been times when you were the right person in the right place, at the right time? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation.