We were in Copperas Cove and pulled into one of our favorite pawn shops. We have long been garage sale/thrift store/flea market/pawn shop junkies. And certain stores we almost automatically pull into if we are in the vicinity, if time allows. This was one of those stores and one of those times.
There was a new smiling face. A young woman in her twenties. We noticed her when we walked in. She just kind of stood out. Besides, we knew almost everyone else there. As I perused the store, I glanced over to see my wife in conversation with this new young clerk. After several minutes, I walked up, and my wife introduced me. I noticed that the clerk was wearing the necklace that my wife had come in with. My grandmother had given the necklace to her, so I recognized it. I’m kind of puzzled why the clerk is wearing it, but I do not inquire. Shortly thereafter, we leave. As we sat in the truck, I asked my wife, “What’s going on? Wasn’t that your necklace that she is wearing?” My wife said, “Yes. I gave it to her.”
My wife relayed to me that the clerk had walked up to her and asked if there was anything she could help us with. She answered No, but introduced herself and said that we came in there often and she must be new. The clerk said her name was Shannon, and it was her first week there. My wife asked how she liked working there. The answer was that it was okay. Somewhere in this conversation, Shannon commented on how much she liked the beaded necklace my wife was wearing. My wife thanked her for the compliment and told her that it had been a gift from my grandmother. After a few minutes of light conversation with the clerk, my wife said she felt like she was supposed to give the necklace away.
She took it off and put it in the clerk’s hand. Shannon teared up and asked why a stranger would do such a thing. My wife said that she felt like God wanted her to give it away with the message that Jesus loved the clerk with a love that was pure and true. This love could not be earned or coerced. Shannon’s answer to the message was surprising. She said, “I’ve been wanting someone to tell me about Jesus.” My wife gave her a New Testament that she had in her purse and started a dialogue about Jesus.
Over the course of the next few years, we stayed in contact with Shannon and got to know her better. On special days, such as Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, even Mother’s Day, we would get texts and emails from her. God put us in her life not just for an initial meeting with Him, but for quite a few years after that so we could help her on her journey. The last time we talked to her, she was engaged to be married and was studying to become a Phlebotomist.
Who would have thought that a mundane stop at a pawn shop and an inexpensive beaded necklace could change someone’s life? As we speak, my grandmother is 94 years old and on hospice at the rest home. We have not been able to communicate effectively with her for some years now due to memory loss and other effects of Alzheimer’s. But, I believe that she would be happy to know that her simple gift to my wife helped bring the soul of a young woman the gift of eternal life.