Posted August 26, 2014:
God in the Gift Shop

by Mary Frances Henderson, a working guest.

Last winter, I had the pleasure of working in the Madonna House Gift Shop. It spoke to my heart that Catherine Doherty called us "shopkeepers for God."

Business is usually slow in winter, and often when folks come in, they are quite happy to linger by the fire by the front desk and chat with whichever of us is there.

One afternoon when I was working there, a woman who had been coming almost once a week, once more braved the snowy weather. She enjoyed browsing in the religious items section.

A painting of the Last Supper caught her eye, and she brought it to the front desk. She asked me if I knew which apostle was Simon because she had a son named Simon. I pointed out as best I could which one he was.

Then she said, "Can I ask you a silly question?’ I assured her that I liked silly questions. So she asked, "Are Jesus and God the same person?"

I was delighted to hear her question. And I was grateful that everyone else was in the workroom of the shop and that she was asking me.

As I started to answer her question, the simple longing in her heart for God connected with my desire to share Him. In the quiet marketplace, in our shop kept for God, I sensed His presence as we talked about Him and His love for us.


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Madonna House - A Training Centre for the Lay Apostolate