Why I was Crying in a Bookstore
Last week I found myself on an airplane flying west for some speaking engagements. I was discouraged. My social media scrolling that day had taken me past 3 separate “kids” I had mentored in years past. Now nearly 30 they are certainly not kids, but they are dear to me. Significant conversations over a course of a number of years has them permanently etched on my heart. While I knew all 3 had drifted away from the church and God, this particular morning their anger was biting, and abrasive and their words were especially harsh. It bothered me deeply. In reality it probably wasn’t just them, they were perhaps the tipping point on this particular day during this particular season.
I arrived at my destination city with some time on my hands and I found a used bookstore to wander through. While I was in the theology section, I met a young man. He kept exclaiming over the books to his friends. “Oh, Bonhoeffer, I love Bonhoeffer!” and “Tozer! This is a great book.”. I started up a casual conversation with him and became apparent to me that at age 16 he loved Jesus deeply.
My soul felt weary and discouraged and he was a breath of fresh air.
I looked him in the eye and asked him, “Can you tell me why you love Jesus?”
I think he could tell his answer was important to me, and he immediately got serious. “He’s my best friend. He’s the easiest person to talk to. I spent years looking for happiness and at the end of every bit of happiness I always found Jesus. He’s so easy to love. I grew up in the church, but Jesus drew me in.”
I found my eyes welling up with tears as this sweet young man poured out his heart for Jesus to me. It was so beautifully pure and simple. He then proceeded to invite me to his church.
Friends, maybe you are like me and need to be reminded that although the world is loud and the stories feel overwhelming, we serve a God who is actively pursuing and drawing the lost to him. Maybe you need to be reminded that although the current story might be hard, the story is not over. Maybe you need to be reminded that God is at work in young people. Maybe you need to hear a refreshing story of God’s goodness in the midst of a tough season. Maybe you, like me, needed to be reminded to not overcomplicate Jesus. Whatever you need, take it. He is at work, He is good, and He is using young people.