Moving along Chapel Street at a quick clip, Marty’s eyes darted from side to side, searching. He was a man with a mission. He passed shop after shop and finally something caught his eye across the street. He stopped and stared, an ear-to-ear grin forming as the wheels turned quickly in his head.
Moving across through the traffic he prepared himself and when he confirmed that, yes indeed, there was a help wanted sign in the window he knew his prayers had been answered. The Light and Life Christian Book Store was going to be his salvation, and amen to that.
Stepping in to the shop he quickly spotted the owner, an elderly white-haired man behind the counter tidying things and whistling to himself. He walked up and greeted his saviour in waiting.
“Good day to you, brother. This fine establishment is yours, I take it?” He smiled obsequiously.
The old man looked up. “Why yes it is. What can I do for you?”
“I was passing by and couldn’t help notice the sign in the window. I am a fellow traveller who happens to be in need of employment, and I do so love books, especially those that spread the glad word.”
The old man’s eyes lit up. “Well blessed be. It’s not easy finding good help these days. You seem a very personable young man, and you are a Christian?”
Marty beamed. “Oh, most definitely, I came to Jesus many years ago.”
“I see. Are you new here? I haven’t seen you around. My name is Henry, by the way.”
“Pleased to meet you, Henry. Yes, I arrived a month or so ago, and I’ve been staying with my grandmother and caring for her, but she passed away recently, and I’m also in need of a place to stay. I noticed from outside that you have a loft.”
The old man thought for a moment. “Why yes I do, and you know what? I think I’ll give you a trial run here, and if you like you can stay in the loft until you get more suitable quarters. Welcome to the Light and Life, young man, God must have sent you to me.”
“Oh, I’m pretty sure he sent you to me, my good man. Thank you so much for your generosity.”
Marty set to work, doing the various tasks Henry asked of him, stocking a straightening the shelves and such. Soon he noticed movement through the store window and turned to Henry.
“Did you say you had some boxes that needed shifting in the back room? I think I’ll do that now, Henry.”
“That will be fine, Marty. Off you go then.”
Marty quickly disappeared into the back room just as two police officers entered the shop. One of the officers moved to the counter while the other looked around.
“Hello. I’m afraid there’s been a bank robbery down the next block and we’re doing a search. We have the area cordoned off and we’re almost certain the perpetrator is still in the area. He escaped on foot just as we arrived. Have you seen anything suspicious in the last hour?”
Henry was surprised. “Why no, officers, it’s been very quiet here today.”
“Is there anyone else here besides yourself?”
“Just my employee, officer, he’s working in the back.”
“Mind if I take a look?”
“No, go right ahead.”
The policeman peeked through the curtain over the door; Marty had his back to the officer, shifting boxes of books.
“Well, all right then, we’ll keep looking. Thanks for your time.”
“I hope you catch him soon, officers.”
“We’ll keep the area cordoned until tomorrow, don’t you worry, he won’t get away.”
As they left Marty came out of the back. “What was that all about Henry?”
“Oh, it seems there’s been a bank robbery down the next block. What is this world coming to do you suppose? I do wish people would join the fold and quit their evil ways.”
Marty smiled. “Yes, Henry, it’s quite beneficial to turn to God for salvation, isn’t it?” He went back to work, singing What A Friend We Have In Jesus softly under his breath.