pieces

Let her bring God back to you, Little Town. Let her step into your world without conforming to it. Let her be herself, fulfill her dreams in you.

The town drunk says, “This used to be a liquor store,” and she says, “Did it now?” She knows it used to be a liquor store because she had her eye on it back then; she had already claimed it as a girl, but she didn’t know what for. It’s too beautiful to be a liquor store.

A lady playing a guitar in the corner brings people in, but it’s God who brings the love. It’s the love that keeps people coming in for another shot, another smooth escape.

People keep coming in like they want to see the speakers, hear the music, but they don’t always pay attention — most of the time they do, though. Monday or Tuesday is story day — written, remembered, fiction, not fiction, whatever. She loves those days most because they’re so true.

“It’s ’cause of you, you know. This place brings people into town,” they tell her. No, it’s not. It’s ’cause of God; all because of God: builder of dreams.

Students studying fill the tables and chairs with their sprawl of learning. She walks into the library and says, “You oughtta renovate the upstairs.” But they ask, “How could we afford it? We can barely afford buying new books for our shelves.” And she says, “You oughtta put a can on the corner of your counter that says: ‘Donations for the Expansion of the Library.’ Books are important. Here’s your first check.” Ha! That’d make ’em do it.

The hours are long, but people keep coming.

She doesn’t dress like the rest; she dresses like herself.

She says, “I’ve got a surprise tomorrow at four. You should come by.” She smiles a wry smile. “Why’s that?” “It’ll be worth it.” Four o’clock comes along and she lifts the cloth from her book — her published book. “In between getting drinks, I somehow found time to write a book. It’s ’cause of y’all this place stays open. Drinks on the house and a copy of this for everybody.” She winks. “You don’t have to read it.”

She loves books, and she wants others to love them. Books cover an entire wall, or they did until half of them got checked out around town. She only keeps track because someone else might need to read one of them, and she might need to track her copy down in a hurry.

She loves people, and she wants others to love them. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to draw the line, so sometimes she just doesn’t.

Clergymen come in and say she’s not representing who she ought to represent, or she’s taking away their crowd. Gas station says she’s taking away their customers too. She gives them a drink on the house, and says she bets their business has actually improved.

She’s got jars on the counter, stuffed with money to feed the hungry, rescue the orphans, clothe the poor, birth new Christians. She didn’t tell people to fill the jars; they just did. She puts in her salary and wishes she didn’t have to pay the bills. People forget the days when jars and shop were empty, but she doesn’t. She remembers well.

Sunday is her day off, and she watches the sunset and takes a breath before Monday. She wishes she could do more. She wishes others would come by, others who won’t let themselves be touched.

The walls, the pictures, used to be the definition of perfect decorum. Now, the place is kitschy, but it’s the reflection of love, so it’s all okay.

It’s an anomaly; she acts like it’s normal. People come from out of town, but just to gawk. The people touched are right next door, and they’re addicted to receiving love and giving love. They can’t stop.

Let Him be Himself, fulfill His dreams in you.

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    • KJB
    • November 10th, 2005

    Reaction:

    So what are you waiting for?

    He is Himself and He is fulfilling His vision through you – of that I am certain.

    Your passion for loving people is addictive. I’m in.

    • M
    • November 14th, 2005

    Beautiful. To both. The post and the comment. I agree–your passion for loving people IS addictive. Your passion for loving people is contageous. Your passion…is God. Period.

  1. April 1st, 2008

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