It was 6:25 pm, I had a kitchen table full of friends (if three of us can make a table that seats six full), Tim was out of town, and I wasn’t expecting company. The doorbell rang.
A nervous young girl stood on my doorstep. She was studying at the University of Richmond. Her parents lived just down the street. She was selling magazines to help fund an upcoming semester abroad in London. If I didn’t need any myself, I could pay for a subscription of my choice to a soldier overseas.
Apparently she missed the ‘no soliciting’ sign glued to the storm door by a previous tenant.
But, since Tim and I have been talking and praying about how to become more involved in our (secular) community…I invited her in. “Smells like cookies,” she said, and I should have offered her one, but I was too busy scanning the list. “The most popular mags for the guys overseas are Sports Illustrated and Playboy,” she offered helpfully. “The girls really like Elle.”
Great, I am thinking. Just great.
I ask her name again, find out a few details about her trip just to buy myself time. I realize the list of available magazines continues on the back of the little card she gives me.
“How much is this one?” I ask, pointing.
She checks her cheat sheet. “$36 for a two year subscription,” she replies. Okay. I think, I can handle that.
I pull out my checkbook. She doesn’t meet my gaze. “There’s a small fee for shipping and handlingsoyourtotalcomesto$51.45.” I gulp. But I’m committed to this.
She is elated. “I’ll send you a postcard from London! I’ll stop back by and show you pictures! You can check online in a few weeks to see the name of the soldier that gets your magazine! It’s tax deductible! I’ll send you that postcard!!”
I say a prayer that God will send my magazine to just the right person. That He’ll use my blundering efforts and foolish mistakes to His glory. He’s sovereign. He knows that somewhere, someone overseas could use a good, healthy dose of Guideposts…right?
Sorry, soldier. I know it’s not Playboy…better luck next time, eh?