"I can't believe I forgot my phone at home, now I have no camera to take pictures tonight. That's just great," I think as I rummage through my purse before getting out of the car. Walking up to the store I look through the windows before getting to the entrance. "Shoot, she's doing a reading, great, now I'm going to walk in and disturb everything. I didn't know that she'd be doing that." (Obviously I've never gone to a book signing, though when I think of it every movie, tv show, and book with this scene includes a reading by the author, duh!) As I get through the second set of doors I hear everyone clap as she finishes her reading. "Just mingle or get in line to get your book(s) signed" she graciously instructs as she moves behind the table with her pen in hand. I slip along the side where a few other late comers have stood behind the Nook counter at our local Barnes and Noble. People stand and chatter and I move toward the back of the space to find a place at the end of the line. "Hi Sheila," says her husband with a great big smile. I am vaguely surprised he knows my name, since it is my middle child he knows through youth ministry. But then I remember the value of social media, we're "friends" and "followers" of each other on a number sites. He asks after my son who has gone back to college and we have a brief dialogue about he and a couple of other interests we have in common. I make my way to the back of the line. I see a few people I recognize or know on some kind of level, but I feel conspicuously alone. As the line slowly but steadily moves, I find myself in conversation with the lady behind me, who has a box of new books she has ordered to get signed. We pleasantly discover we attend the same church and that we know someone common (my mother-in-law). I explain I only have my advanced reader copy to get signed, the copies I ordered from Amazon haven't come in yet due to another item in the order being back-ordered until the first of September. I know the author's assistant, who gives me a hug when I get near the front. I look at the young lady two people in front of me. She has on gold and white tennis shoes. Then I remember, I was supposed to wear something gold. I look down - nothing. Even my jewelry today (other than my wedding rings) is silver. Then, it's my turn. I haven't met Emily before. I follow her blog, her newsletter, and all her social media. I even got selected through a random drawing to be part of an advance reader group of her new book. I've seen her at a women's conference, and sat near her at a dinner one time, But she doesn't know me.
She smiles at me expectantly as I hand her the book, "Sheila" I say as I hand it to her. She sees the green sticker on front. "Sheila? What's your last name?" Just as I start to answer she says "Scribbles? I only know one Sheila and that's SheilaScribbles!" "That's me," I say just as her assistant confirms it. "I love that!" she exclaims (or some such positive reaction). I beam as I take the autographed book and move on for the next person to take my place.
She knew me. Maybe she didn't know my face, or "know" me, but she knew me. The power of that was a little bit stunning. It was a small thing for her. It was a huge thing for me.
I've been consciously working to embrace "smallness" (the theme of Emily's new book). To live "on the bench" and trying not to "build cities". I have often lived on the teeter totter of being content in the background yet longing for the spotlight.
Emily has reminded me that my purpose in life is not to seek the spotlight or the background, simply to embrace what is in front of me. As a person of faith, let God bring what He will. And if I do that, whatever happens, will be just right. And sometimes, someone famous knows your name.
Labels: #itssimplytuesday, Emily P. Freeman, Simply Tuesday, smallness