At the front table when you walk in they were spotlighting comic books. Sorry... "graphic novels." (Come on... they're comic books with a hard outside. Someone came up with the fancy pants title because he didn't like being called a geek. It's like when Trekkies started wanted to be known as Trekkers. Yeah... like that makes a difference.)
For the record... I like comic books. And I don't mind being called a geek for reading them.
I got distracted from my goal of looking for more books on leadership by this table... sitting right on top was the story "KINGDOM COME." Not only does this have a cool storyline in itself, but it has several references from Revelation contained within. It asks the question "what would the world look like years after the heroes and villains had kids, not to mention the heroes of old (and their values) faded away?"
If you've ever read a Superman comic in your life, this is good stuff.
Anyway - I've read it before, but it's that good that I started reading it again. I went up to the third floor where people usually listen to music on old machines with fat headphones and found a corner to sit in. Here's what I observed:
- An old man with an Uncle Jesse beard was listening to something. With his big fat headphones on over his hat, he had his neck back with his mouth wide open as he gently snored.
- A group of special ed adults had just arrived. They were being loud, and obviously were on a field trip. No bother, though.
- The librarian behind the counter was sitting while another stacked videos.
- The children's section on the third floor was quite busy, full of soccer moms and their wee ones.
I started reading... good stuff. A half hour went by like that.
Then out of nowhere... BUZZ! BEEP! BUZZ! BEEP! Some alarm was going off - it sounded like a fire alarm.
And yet... no one moved.
- Uncle Jessie? Still sleeping.
- Field trip group? Still chatting
- The librarians? Still working.
- The children? Still reading.
A few people chatted in one of the backrooms to the effect of, "Do we need to do anything?" "Oh, okay. Well I hope someone shuts that off soon." "I know, it's so annoying!" "Hey, where did we put the Blue's Clues videos?"
Then after a few minutes the alarm shut off. And everyone went back to, well... what they were already doing the whole time.
Five minutes later a frantic lady ran up the stairs: "Alright, third floor! Everyone has to leave right now! Let's go! Let's go! It's a fire alarm."
- One flight of stairs.
- One floor full of kids and adults and special needs.
- One elevator not able to be used.
I've never seen so many people run so fast while trying to look calm. Almost at the expense of others, they rushed for the stairs.
And then as I moved in that direction I heard some clicking behind me. A lady on crutches was making her way... slowly... to the stairs. In fact, she was the librarian from behind the counter, and no one was helping her.
Maybe it was the fact that I'd just read about Superman and the loss of traditional values in comic books... or maybe it was the Holy Spirit... but I couldn't help but help. "Excuse me," I began, "can you make it down the stairs okay?"
"Yes. But it will just take me some time."
"Okay, I'll walk with you." And I did. Down a very round staircase with lots of kids and strollers and special needs people and frantic adults and... well, everyone... trying to push past us. It took several minutes, but we finally reached the main floor.
"Thank you... that was very considerate."
"No problem, ma'am."
I got to my car which was parked where the fire trucks would soon be pulling in. Thankfully, I got out before getting blocked in. As I drove away, though, I wondered...
Why didn't anyone move when they heard the alarm?
Maybe it was the voice of a person that made all the difference.
Hmm... any lessons when it comes to sharing Jesus Christ?
- How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? (Romans 10:14)