In California I had a friend who had a bookshelf that covered one entire wall in her condo. It was about 18 feet long by 12 feet high. And was completely covered from wall to wall with Christian books.
I would stop on my way home from work on Friday evenings, and pick a book or two from her shelves, return the ones I had already borrowed, and then we would go out for dinner and catch up on news of the week.
One particular Friday, I stopped, and while waiting for her to get ready to go out, I scanned the shelves and pulled off “Tough Love” by James Dobson.
When she came out of the bathroom, she looked at the selection of books I had pulled, and immediately reached to take back “Tough Love”, with the comment, “Oh you don’t want to take that book. You will be so bored. It is for people in relationships. You will absolutely wish you hadn’t bothered.” And went to return the book to the shelf.
Internally, I was adamant that I HAD to have that book to read during the upcoming week. So I argued with her.
She argued back.
We left, and later she confessed that she was thinking of taking the book back at some period of the upcoming evening.
When I took her home after dinner, she did try to take the book with her as she got out of the car, and I immediately corrected her that I was taking the book, and was going to read it.
When I arrived home, I stopped in front of the couch, and sat down to thumb through the book. Each page, far more boring and uninteresting than the one previous. I read through the first page on each chapter and concurred that she was correct, I would find this exceptionally boring. I would return it to her the next day at church. No need to keep it through the week. She was right.
The next morning while I was getting ready for church my doorbell rang. It was 6 am, so I could not imagine who would be at my door at that early hour.
I opened the door to find my best friend’s husband standing there looking rather perplexed and forlorn. They were going through the rubber meets the road days of their marriage.
He asked if he could take me to breakfast before church to ask me some questions about their relationship.
I said “sure, have a a seat and let me just get ready, take me 10 minutes.”
I ran into the bathroom to finish getting ready to go, and he sat down on the couch in front of the coffee table.
Lying on the coffee table was James Dobson’s book, “Tough Love.”
After a few minutes, he shouts out, “Mary, can I do a rain check on that breakfast invitation; I think I will go to work and read awhile. May I borrow this book on your coffee table?”
God gave me an instant revelation moment, and I came out of the bathroom smiling, “Of course you can borrow the book; and of course we can rain check that breakfast invitation.” You can drop off the book anytime when you are done, no rush. Enjoy.
He left with the book in hand.
A week later the book had been popped through my mail slot with a note inside, “The best book I have ever read. I thank you so very much for letting me borrow it. I would not have made it without reading that book. I thank you so very, very much.”
He is now a born again Christian, and at that time was a 4th generation Mormon elder.
God is soooo amazing!