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note to self: i’ll be there for you, always

written june 6, 2021. Photo by Kristine Cinate on Unsplash I have always looked for myself in other people. I think the idea was that they would somehow hold the pieces of me that I felt were missing. That maybe, if I wrapped my identity up in theirs enough, we would somehow make a whole person. It's not healthy to live like this, but I did it anyway — burning through relationships and searching for something I couldn't quite name. It was never enough, not to be myself, but it was never enough to latch my identity to other people, either. I got close, several times — I thought I had reached the pinnacle of self discovery. I thought I had completed myself. But in the end, relying on other people to help build yourself is never a viable way to do things. It's only recently that I've started to become comfortable with the idea of being enough, as I am, on my own. Several years ago, in this same position, I would have searched for another person to attach my identity onto,

the lady at the library

So... there I stood, three books in the crook of my arm, and a library card wedged tightly in my other hand. It was time to pick up my holds at the library, and I waited in line so I could check them out. The books in question were The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle, and Big Fat Paycheck--a script writing book--by Colton Lawrence. But that is not important. What's important is who checked my books out.

If you know me (which I hope you do), you'll probably have noticed that I take an interest in the unusual. I notice nearly everything, even the unnecessary or mundane. So it isn't surprising that I was standing in the library on this particular day wondering which of the three librarians would check my books out for me. I seemed to notice one more than the others, and was pleasantly surprised when she called the next person up to the front. The next person, was, of course, me.

Again, if you know me (which I hope you do), you'll probably definitely have noticed that I am rather very shy. So it struck a little lot of terror into my heart when I heard a quiet voice whisper in my heart, You will share Me with her today.

"What, God? No! You know I've never led anyone to Christ! Much less some random librarian that I don't even know. I can't believe you're asking me to do this," I protested. (Honestly. That is more or less what I said.)

Okay, don't freak out. Just ask her how she is.

I can do that, I decided. I stepped up to the counter and set my books down.

"How has your day gone so far?" I asked, smiling as warmly as I could.

"Good, good," she responded genuinely, her eyes smiling. "How are you?"

"I'm okay," I responded.

"Great. These books are due on January 20th."

God, how am I supposed to lead her to Christ when she's handing me my receipt? I questioned.

You did share Me with her, He said.

It was only when I walked out that I understood. I had shared Christ with the librarian just by noticing her, and by attempting to brighten her day. Suddenly my favorite quote took on a whole new meaning:

“Preach the gospel always – and if necessary, use words.”

We are always sharing our faith, whether we realize it or not.


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