But the shop itself gave me the heebie-jeebies. Joel Osteen stared down at me from the walls. A hand-written sign recommending his latest missive as one of “the best Christian books today.” Osteen and Joyce Meyer dominated the “best seller” section of the shelves.
Worship-industry CDs covered the walls like locusts. JIMB songs waiting for their ones and zeros to attack the laser of my CD-reader.
Worshipreneur Israel Houghton’s first foray into book writing watched me from the new book section. “Forward by Joel Osteen.” I thought of the time we waited two hours for Houghton to show up for an interview. (But that was in another life.) I wondered if it would feature a section on a worship leader’s need for humility.
The woman who entered the shop looking for a particular style of book completed the Twilight Zone nature of the moment – a moment in desperate need of Rod Serling’s narration.
She was looking for a book for a friend who couldn’t conceive. Her loud voice bounced off the dross-dipped racks, “it needs to be a book that tells stories of how faith can deliver God’s miracles.” I considered offering the Philip Yancey book struggling for shelf space in front of me, The Gift of Pain. But it would not have served her faith-filled purposes.
And stumbled outside into the light.