Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I've Got Peace Like A River"1 (Lyrics)
Ephesians 5:15-17 – So be careful how you live. Don't live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don't act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. (NLT)
It was a few days before Christmas. I was running my little out-of-print book business when a young rocker whose band was usually on tour came in. He'd come home to see his folks. "Have you got a copy of Robert Heinlein's 'Time enough for love'?" he asked. "I want to give it to someone for Christmas."
I shook my head. It wasn't a Christian book, and I hadn't read it. As an out-of-print shop, there was also nowhere to order it. Books came in completely at random, one at a time. "But if I find it, I'll let you know," I said. He looked disappointed, but wished me a merry Christmas. When he opened my wreath-laden front door, it looked like he was stepping into a Christmas card. Snow was falling, streetlights were on, and shoppers were headed home with gifts.
As he left, I turned back to rummage around in a box of books that had just come in — and there was a paperback copy! I rushed back to the door and without thinking, bellowed down the street at his retreating back, "TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE!"
"YES!" he yelled back, turning around and flinging open his arms as if to embrace me as he ran back. It was then that I realized how this must look: a tall, delightful, somewhat tattooed young man and a middle-aged woman alone in her shop. I had already been told that there was gossip about what I was really up to, since it seemed obvious to some folks that no one could make a living selling old books. The papers had just run a story about shops like mine used as fronts for illicit activities. In New York, the mob had a dress shop for several years with only a single dress on the premises.
I could see that sort of speculation on the faces of shoppers who had stopped in their tracks and watched as he reached my front door. "Suspicions confirmed" was written all over their faces. There seemed to be no point in another bellow about it being only a book title.
Impulsive ways can be very destructive to the example that we set as Christians. Many of us continue opening our mouths only to insert both feet. But God wants us to take a sacred pause, to think before we speak, and to ask for the Holy Spirit to guard our tongues. Our behaviour matters to the communities that we live in. Gossip can be deadly. Only God can set us free from those old impulses and compulsions that cause us to act in hurtful ways.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, grant us a patient thoughtfulness throughout our lives, so that in all things, we wait for Your guidance, not running out ahead of You as though we are still children of this world. Help our behaviour to reflect Your glory. Amen.
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Editor’s Note: Rose is now out of the used book business!
Great story, Rose.
Oh, yes, Rose, oh yes!
Thanks for your wisdom. An out of print bookshop. So interesting
Humor will make me remember – thanks!!
Always enjoy what you write.
Thanks, Rose, for sharing this delightful and heartwarming Christmas devotional! Blessings.
What an interesting life you have lived, Rose. All the best of God’s blessings in the year 2020!
You have lived such an interesting life, Rose. Your posts always move me. God bless you in 2020!
Thanks, Rose for sharing your embarrassing story. We really enjoyed it and of course, a good lesson followed.
Really laughed at the image! Very down to earth devotional and one that will come back to me many times.
God knows our hearts and motives. Gossips are not following God’s ways.
Bless you and your ministry of book sellings.
Thank you for putting a smile on my face and a good chuckle in my voice!
I just love reading your Devotionals. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that God will bless you with a blessed new year.
Rose, it sounds as if you had an intuitive nudge, to look in that box.
And you made that young man’s day.
No matter what people thought, I would call that a “God thought”.
Thanks for sharing!
That’s how rumours get started. Like the story about squeezing a tube of toothpaste, once it is out you can’t get it back in.
I hope you have a good new year and thank you for your kind words about my devotionals the other day and thank you for writing.
I enjoyed your devotional writing this morning and could just visualize the expression on the bystanders faces but I’m sure there was joy for the rocker fellow that you found what he wanted. Yes, so often we can let a word or two unexpectedly slip from our tongue and surly need God’s guidance to say the right things and pray “Dear God please put my brain in motion before my tongue”.
Blessings to you and may the New Year be a good one for you.
Oh boy, for sure. I was told a story of a man who lived on the main street of a small town, in an upper apartment. He attended a local church. He owned a vehicle but had nowhere to park it, so he made an arrangement to park it across the street. Every night after work, there it was, in front of the tavern. The gossip was started by a woman in his church. After too much of this, he started parking his truck in front of her house. That ended that. I know as a minister for 45 years; I visited many a place where the needy lived and various other undesirables in the community. Ministry takes you there. But some of the good church folk were not happy. I was THEIR minister, what was I doing spending time with THOSE PEOPLE?
Dear Rose, Thanks for the good giggle and the amazing things that God does in our lives. I believe you are legit and I am sure lots of people who are looking for books are pleased you are there. May you have a blessed day.