What are “Hidden Sales?”

by Mary DeMuth

She approached me from across a crowded hallway. “I feel like I know you,” she said. “I receive your newsletters. Thank you.”

I asked her about her family.

“I wanted to tell you thank you for Thin Places,” she said after our small talk. “I’ve passed it to a friend who’s passed it along several times.”

In one quick moment, I felt sad. Passing a book along five times prevented five sales. But in the next moment, I smiled. I thanked her for passing the book along. I wondered who the book had been passed to, what had been the response, how God had worked.

Lying in my bed that night, I told my husband about the encounter. And I marveled at what sales might mean in eternity. Probably nothing at all. What will matter is influence, how my words expanded the kingdom of God. My hunch is that the passalong “sales” are what will make heaven so interesting. People I’ve never met who read my words, chew on them, and hopefully fall in love with Jesus more.

Don’t be discouraged, then, if you see your book at Half Price Books, or a garage sale. Don’t be bothered by people checking it out from their library. Don’t fret when people pass your book on because they love it so much. Instead, be encouraged. Be thrilled. Be expectant.

Those “hidden sales” will mean something.

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