Please fire me. I work at a small bookstore in an airport. Because of our limited space, we’re very strict about what titles we carry: we only keep books that sell. Sales are carefully monitored and if something isn’t selling at a sustainable rate, it’s pulled from the shelves.
One book we don’t sell is the Bible. We periodically have customers asking for a Bible, but aside from mild annoyance, they rarely make an issue when we inform them we don’t have any. However, I had a customer come in a few weeks ago and ask where we kept our Bibles.
“I’m sorry, we don’t carry any Bibles,” I told her.
“Why not?” she demanded.
“Our store is small and we don’t have the room for them,” I said.
“No room, huh?” she said. She pointed to a book on display called Ghost Bride. “But you have room for books on ghosts?”
“It’s one of our staff picks for the month.” It was my staff pick, actually. “If you’re interested, we do have a small religion section.”
She grumbled a bit, but let me take her to the shelf of religion books to browse. She returned to the register a few moments later with a used copy of A Purpose-Driven Life. I rang up her book and handed it to her, thanking her for her purchase. She lingered by the register, packing her book into her luggage, gathering up her bags, checking to make sure she had her boarding pass and ID.
Once she was all situated, she straightened, looked me in the eyes and announced, “I will PRAY for this store,” and swept out.
The next day I told this story to a coworker who’s been at our location for 7 years. After I’d finished the story (and he’d finished rolling his eyes), I said, “Why don’t we have any Bibles? Enough people ask for one, I’d think we’d be able to sell a copy or two.”
“We used to have Bibles,” he said, “but they barely sold. People would come in and ask for one, but not buy it. They were just checking to make sure we had them. I think we were being tested.”