I'm Working On It  

I’m Working On It

I stopped in at a local bookstore to see if they were carrying my book. Since I had spoken at a church in that area the night before, I was hoping that if they didn’t already carry it, they would agree to order some. I was also in search of more books by my newest favorite fiction writer. I walked up to the Customer Service Desk and was greeted by a smiling woman. “I have two questions for you,” I said. “Can you help me find a book by the author Susan Howatch and are you carrying my book, Pocket Full of Quarters?”

“Wow,” she said. “I’ve never met an author before.” I grew conscious of my uncombed hair, the stain on my shirt, and my 53-year-old legs in shorts. I suddenly remembered that most authors I’d met looked a little bedraggled. At what point had I totally left my corporate persona behind? I refused to be self-conscious.

“I’m a Christian writer. I travel the country talking to people about God and write about my adventures. Are you a Christian?”

“Yes, but I’m afraid I’ve fallen away from it.” She gave the classic guilty shrug and immediately lost eye contact. I grieved the loss of her beautiful smile but didn’t have to do without it for long. She brightened as she said, “My children go to church. They live with their grandparents two months during the summer. My mother and daddy are wonderful Christian people. My children say they are Baptist in the summer and Catholic in the winter.”

“What are you?” I probed.

“I recently converted to Catholicism but I guess I’m not much of anything. I’m working on it though. I’ve even asked God to help me.”

“I guess that’s why He sent me here,” I said. “I think He wants you in church with your children.”

“I know you’re right. My husband and I both have been working on it. You know – I think I’m going to order some of your books.” She instantly began clicking on the computer. “I’ve put them on a short list. Someone else has to approve them but hopefully, we’ll buy them. Where are you from?”

“I’m from Jacksonville,” I answered.

“Wow, I own property in Jacksonville. I’ve been trying to sell if for a while but it won’t sell,” she answered enthusiastically.

“I know the best realtor in Jacksonville,” I said. “Her name is Nancy Edwards. If your house can be sold, she will sell it.” I gave her Nancy’s card and a Pocket Full of Quarters card.

“You’re like my Grandmother.” She said as tears spring to her eyes. “The world just lost one of the great saints. She was 99. She walked up to everyone and said, ‘Do you know Jesus?’”

“Theresa, it sounds to me like the people you admire most in the world were committed Christians,” I remarked. “You commented on your parent’s Christianity and your grandma’s.”

“You’re right,” she nodded. “I only recently got to know my grandma. If it hadn’t been for Hurricane Katrina, I would have lost her without ever really knowing her. She was really special.”

There was another customer waiting so I turned to leave. As I walked away, she called my name. “Cheryle, I just want you to know that you have made my day.” The truth is, God made both of ours.


Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to www.pocketfullofchange.org or call Cheryle Touchton at 904-614-3585.

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