Lord, am I really an author if the only people who have bought my book are friends and family? I don’t think it counts until someone I don’t know, who has no connection to me, my friends, or my family, buys the book because they heard about it or saw it or were googling the topic. Once those people start buying it, then I’m an author. That was the conversation I was having with God as I pulled into the parking lot of our special place for dinner.
It’s like a lot of special dinner spots in our area: an old, stone inn, heaped in history, at the crossroads of two backroads that once were main roads. Having turned into a fine dining establishment, we go there for special celebrations. Thursday night I was meeting Doug there. We were celebrating the release of my book on Amazon before he went off to the high school jazz band competition and I went to my critique group.
Dinner was as delicious as always. Yes, I probably did fill up too much on my salad—it’s their house champagne vinaigrette dressing that I can’t resist. But that’s OK. Now Doug will have a few meals of veal parmesan while I’m away next week. We were enjoying the meal and the live music while chatting about the book. We were saying how we can’t know exactly how God will use it, but He does seem to be getting it to unexpected people already.
Just then our waitress came with the check. Doug said to her, “thanks for helping us celebrate.” She asked what we were celebrating. He replied, “My wife’s first book was just released on Amazon today.”
Turning to me, she asked, “That’s great. What’s it called?”
“It’s called, ‘Hidden with Christ.’”
“It’s called what?”
Thinking she had no idea what I was talking about, I said, “Hidden with Christ, as in Jesus.”
“I thought that’s what you said. I can’t believe it. God brought you here just for me tonight. Before my shift started, I was praying that he would send someone here tonight who could encourage me. I said to him, ‘I just want to hide in you’.”
We talked a little more, and she wrote down the name of the book and my name. She promised to look it up on Amazon when her shift ended. That’s often how God works, bringing together two people who have asked for something and answering their prayers through each other. It’s cool. It’s encouraging. It’s a reminder that we don’t live our lives in a vacuum but in community, each of us affecting another.
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6)