Friday night my husband and I had a much needed date. I looked at him in the middle of the week and said, "If at all possible, pull strings, do what you can, beg your mother, but please get us a date." I am sure if you have kiddos you know what I mean. You feel like you haven't had a real conversation in days (sometimes weeks). You feel like you give a quick run down of your day as you pass one another in the hallway during bath and bed time. Unfortunately this is just reality when you have littles and it only gets worse when those littles have lots of extra activities. So, after the week we had, date night was definitely needed.
We ended up going for a quick bite to eat. It was only 5:00pm so we thought we would beat the rush. Well, we would have beat the rush, however, our service was beyond slow and the food was less than mediocre. After dinner, we went to one of our favorite date night stores. It is usually a pick from Lowes, Academy, or Mardel - yes, we are adventurous. You know your jealous!
That night we settled on Mardel Christian Bookstore. It is always so peaceful in there and everyone is so friendly. We spent some time looking for a birthday present for our son. He will be ten in less than a month. Don't even get me started, the water works have already been in full force. I cry about it at the drop of a hat. Then we stood and read every shirt on the wall of t-shirts. My husband picked out two new shirts.
1. One of the shirts has a cartoon picture of a taco and reads: "Wanna taco bout Jesus? Lettuce pray."
2. The other has a piece of bacon on the front and reads: "BACON, another reason I know God loves me."
We thought these were hysterical and now you know how dorky we can be on our dates. :) It really doesn't take much to entertain us.
I do have a point to this post, it is not just to describe our date. After the shirts we landed in the book area. We have been known to stand and browse the books for well over an hour. I was looking for a red word Bible when I noticed a man out of the corner of my eye. I looked at him directly and realized I had seen him in the parking lot earlier. He had been sitting on the tailgate of his truck. He was taking off what looked like construction or work boots. He looked exhausted and hot. I was trying to figure out why he was in that spot because there isn't any current construction in the shopping center. I am a self proclaimed people watcher (and not in a creepy way). Put me in an airport and I am entertained for hours. I always wonder where people are going, who are they meeting, have they had a good/bad day, etc. I often wonder what their story would tell. I was wondering the same thing about this man when I saw him in the parking lot.
Fast forward about an hour and I realized the man I saw in the bookstore was the same man I had seen in the parking lot. I noticed he sat down in a chair in front of all the Bibles. He looked absolutely worn out. I decided to duck into a different isle and give him the privacy he seemed to need. Then I peaked at him from around the corner (that privacy didn't last long). Okay, so maybe the people watching seemed a bit creepy at this point - don't judge. You know you have done the same thing... and if you haven't just make me feel like I am normal, okay...
What I saw brought tears to my eyes. He sat heavily in the chair holding what appeared to be a Bible. I just couldn't stop thinking how tired he looked. Before he opened the Bible, he looked up towards the ceiling and closed his eyes. I was so moved by watching him. I wondered about his story. I wondered why the only place he felt he could find peace was in the middle of a bookstore. I wondered if maybe he didn't have his own Bible and that was why he was using one from the store? I wondered what he was trying to look up, what answer he was searching for. I immediately started praying for him; I have thought about him a lot since. I hope he found the answers, support, or peace it seemed he so desperately needed.
I went to find my husband who was knee deep in Duck Dynasty books. We love the Robertson's but seriously how many books have they written?! I hung around for about ten minutes and then my nosiness and mother hen got the best of me - I had to check on the man. When I stuck my head back around the corner, he was gone - no where to be seen.
I wonder where he is today. I pray that whatever trouble or stress he was facing that he found relief. I was thankful that God allowed me to watch someone seeking His help, even if it was in the middle of a bookstore. In that man's moment of stress and exhaustion, all I saw was a beautiful person seeking God.