on stopping to smell the books

(It’s sort of like stopping to smell the roses.)

I was walking back from the store today (where I went to replace my stolen cell phone-more on that later.)

I was walking down Cherry St. back to our house (about a mile). There is a bookstore that always has boxes of books out front on the sidewalk. Maybe it was because I just watched “You’ve Got Mail”…maybe it was because it was a beautiful day & I was enjoying my walk back home. But I decided to stop & peruse the books outside today.

There were several titles…mostly new-agey titles that I wasn’t very interested in. But one particular little book caught my eye & it was cheap ($1.00) so I decided to purchase it.

And as I walked inside a few things stood out to me.

(beware: complete honesty forthcoming)

I was wearing a small silver & diamond cross today.  It’s a very pretty cross. But I don’t wear it very often (mostly because I don’t wear jewelery hardly at all.) But for whatever reason I put it on today.

And as I was walking around inside this quite eclectic store, I found myself feeling self-conscious about that cross.

“What if the people in here think I’m just like every other Christian they know?”
“What if they have negative feelings about me being in here wearing that cross?”
“What if they’re offended by me wearing this ‘symbol of conservatissm?’ ”

(I realize that these thoughts are not even very sensical, but they’re just the things that came into my head. I warned you about the honesty, remember?)

And as I paid for my book (that ended up only costing 50 cents…which was great, but made me feel even worse about having to use my debit card to pay for it. It was bad when I had to use my debit card to pay for a $1 book….but something about having to use it to pay for a 50 cent book felt even dumber.)  Anyway….as I paid for this, the clerk asked the other gentleman in the store if he had found the bumper sticker he was looking for.

One of those “Coexist” bumper stickers. You know, like this.

And as I walked past the other customer (who was looking for the bumper sticker) I wondered what he saw when he saw that pretty silver cross around my neck.

Because hopefully he saw me through the eyes of the message in that bumper sticker.  I know my view before going in was a little foggy & clouded with my own judgments & pre-conceived notions about the store & the people in it. But the pleasant exchange I had with the people behind the counter left me wanting to stop by there again some time.
And now I have an interesting new book. And some things to think about.

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