By Bob Smietana
Victoria Cano was getting ready to close the LifeWay Christian store one Saturday in Amarillo, Texas, when she noticed a woman entering the doors.
As is her custom, Victoria asked the woman if she needed any help.
The woman, who was hearing impaired, came up to the counter and motioned to Victoria, asking for paper and pen. Victoria found them for her, and after a minute, the woman passed the paper back with a note on it.
“She asked if I could help her find a book about accepting Christ,” Victoria said. “I nodded my head and wrote back, asking if it was for her or for a friend.”
The woman pointed to herself. So Victoria led her to a section of the store with books on prayer and began to make some suggestions.
The first few were workbooks on prayer, but they didn’t seem to fit what the woman wanted. She then began writing another note, this time with a more specific request.
“She said what she wanted was a prayer to God, asking Him into her heart,” Victoria said.
While working in a LifeWay store the past two and a half years, Victoria had become used to people coming in and asking questions about faith. But this kind of direct question about how to receive Christ was new.
After looking at a couple of other books, Victoria had an idea. She went back to the counter and got another piece of paper, this one big enough for an extended conversation.
“Can I help you write your own prayer?” Victoria wrote. That brought a smile to the customer’s face.
During the next few minutes, the two corresponded about God’s love, Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection, and how becoming a Christian starts with a simple act of faith.
“I started by writing out that God loves her very much and that I thought she had come into the store for a reason,” Victoria says. “I told her, life may not always be easy, but God will always be there for us. All He wants to do is to come into our hearts and be the Lord of our lives.”
That too brought a smile to the woman’s face. “She wrote: ‘It’s that simple?'” Victoria recalled. “And I said, ‘yes.'” The customer then prayed the prayer Victoria had helped her write.
When they finished, the customer, who didn’t give her name, picked up the piece of paper with their conversation, and then made the sign for “Thank you.”
The woman bought several books on prayer. And before the woman left the store, Victoria wrote down her own name and number in case the woman came back needing some additional help.
“This is the coolest experience I’ve ever had,” said Victoria, a 20-year-old student at West Texas A&M University, who works part-time at the LifeWay store. “I’ve been on several mission trips with my church and never had something like this happen.”
A few days later, she told the story of her conversation with the customer to Matthew Burrow, general manager of the Amarillo store. Matthew said he was impressed by the way Victoria was able to think on her feet and meet the customer’s need.
“You never know what a customer might ask,” he says. “But that’s the reason we’re here.” –Baptist Press