Because being library keeper for the Little Free Library® on St. John's grounds requires almost daily visits to make sure the library is tidy and stocked, I've found, to my surprise, that our location has a whole other life when we're not around. Part of that life involves the LFL but there is more to it than that.
Since the Little Free Library® is new there have been any number of times I've found people either using the library or they stop and ask about it. One young man was leaving a note saying he wants to start other LFLs in Abilene as his senior project.
Bill Hall, a tree trimmer, stopped by looking for our Junior Warden when I was tending the library. He was inspired to offer to trim our trees that are out of city compliance for free as his "contribution."
One sunny afternoon, I found a young couple taking photos of each other on our front steps. The said they liked our beautiful red doors. They were seeing them with new eyes. I recommend we regularly take personal family photos using our red doors as a background and we should suggest it to others. They really are pretty.
On another occasion a man from Salina was walking his two dogs by the church. He was in town getting his car serviced. As he passed he remarked what a beautiful church it was. It gave me the chance to tell him about the history of the building and invite him to come to our Blessing of the Pets service in October.
Just this past week as I came around from the back of the church I found a man sitting in the shade on the bench by the stature of St. Francis. He asked if there was a Chinese restaurant in town with a buffet. I was pleased to be able to reply affirmatively and gave him directions.
Of course, most of time the life I find is rather more subtle but because my awareness has been peaked I'm noticing it now. This morning it was bees covering the Autumn Joy sedum heads in the flower bed next to the parking lot. There were so many it would make you doubt there is a serious bee shortage.
I know there have been times when I feel our historic building is more of a burden than a blessing, like recently when the air conditioner compressor had to be replaced. But, I wasn't seeing the whole picture. God was using what was here. I just wasn't aware. Expect to see more reports on Life Outside the Church in the blog. Maybe you'll have some stories of your own to share or ideas for ways we might increase opportunities for maximizing the ministry of our location.