The Unseen Beauty of a Book Signing
Robin Weidner, February 2008

Saturday afternoon, I had the privilege of doing my first book signing at Barnes and Noble. But Saturday morning, I wasn’t really feeling the privilege part.

I woke up feeling anxious and a little edgy. When my husband set up this appearance, we had grandiose plans. We would send out press releases and try to get an article in the paper. Dave would e-mail all the churches in town. I would be on the radio a few days before. But with everything going on in our lives (and due to a miscommunication with the radio station), none of this quite happened.

Honestly, I was a jumble of feelings. Scared because the manager had 23 Christian books that we needed to find a way to sell in a secular setting. Intimidated because I knew that due to a conference taking place that day, most likely no one from our church would be there to support me. Just a little sad because my husband took a last minute speaking engagement (with my full blessing) and I wouldn’t have his help. Insecure because this book signing pushed on every performance bone in my body (which I dare say are many).

So when our dog Mojo signaled he wanted to go outside, I found myself walking and praying and walking some more. But mainly, I walked and surrendered.

I ambled with Mojo down to the river…to my special spot where I often ride my bike. After a few warmer days, the river was flowing freely surrounded by snow banks marked only with thousands of footsteps of geese. The water glistened in the sunlight. And standing on the opposite bank of the river saluting us were hundreds of geese. Their flanks were as wide as a football field. They seemed jubilant as they called to each other and seemingly to us.

In that hour with God, I found perspective. I began to realize this opportunity wasn’t about me at all. It was being available for God’s work. It was an opportunity for a date with God. To see what he could and would do with just me and Him alone.

Sure enough, my time at the bookstore was a challenge. It was a slow day. It quickly became obvious that I would need to approach each person (hardly anyone was coming to me!) Yet God showed himself in so many ways. I saw him in:

•  The 7 neighbors that stopped by after finding one of the 40 last minute flyers Dave put in doors around our neighborhood.
•  Parents who stopped by with children who wanted to be writers when they grow up, so that they could meet a “real author.”
•  A beautiful connection made with a couple I have a feeling Dave and I will be friends with for years to come.
•  Women excited to find the book and anxious to pass it on to others.
•  Barnes and Noble employees who amused themselves by watching me interact with customers.
•  My husband Dave making it for the last hour and pushing past his tiredness to help me sell more books.
•  Barnes and Noble offering the opportunity for a second book signing.

Later on, one of the employees confided in me that (due to a quiet location and cold weather) their last couple of book signings didn’t sell a single book. By the grace of God, we sold all but 5 books, which seemed just the right amount to leave for those who said they’d be back.

More so, it was a lesson for me. A lesson in evangelism. Compassion. Security. Faith.

I had a glimpse of the selfish places that my insecurity can take me. Yet I also had a glimpse of the “light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:4). As Dave and I walked out of the bookstore, I actually felt a little sad to see our time end. Sad that there were a couple of women walking in that I wouldn’t get to talk to.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

When I settle into my insecurity, I miss out on many opportunities to witness God’s splendor. But when I recognize my insecurity, surrender it to God and then act out of trust in him, I see his wonders in the most precious and exciting ways. My challenge to you (and to myself!) is to seize those moments in which God’s glory moves right past our insecurities.

These experiences powerfully remind me of God’s faithfulness and offer me that much more strength to surrender insecurity the next time it surfaces. In a bookstore, at home or even in my most intimate moments with God.

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