I can’t imagine what they were thinking, building such a tiny shop. It’s barely larger than my guest room, with stone walls—not the kind of stone you’re probably thinking of, more like small cubes of hand-hewn stone—and one wall with . . . well, we’ll get to that later.
The shop in question is in a new development in McKinney called Adriatica. This is so NOT your mama’s shopping center. The whole place is built of stone and designed to look as though it’s been there for generations. It’s full of nooks, crannies, courtyards and surprises, like the bell tower some eight stories high . . . a massive carving of the dove from Noah’s Ark . . . a tiny vineyard . . . a chapel-in-progress being built on a small peninsula that juts out into the lake, which can be rented for weddings but will be open at other times for personal prayer. Yes, there is a Starbucks, but the drive-thru is entered under a stone arch that looks like it was possibly built by craftsmen from the Middle Ages.
So. Not your average strip center. I was there with a friend last Friday for a special “First Friday” event, which involved booths of handcrafted items in the parking lot, surprisingly good live music, grazing on nibbles at each store, door prizes (I won a basket of some energy drink stuff.), bracelet lust (OMG, it was gorgeous!), and eventually dinner at my favorite wine bar/bistro, Zin Zen. But before flopping down in Z-Z’s comfy seats for pizza and a glass of smooth Pinot Noir, we wandered into the tiny little shop mentioned earlier.
Fleurs & Events, it’s called, and the “fleurs” in question were exquisite. Roses the size of my palm in glorious hues. I was mooning over an arrangement of flame-colored beauties massed in a beautiful black urn when Vikki called my name. “Did you see this?” she said, pointing at a carving on the wall. No, wait—not on the wall—in the wall. It must be a good 5 feet high (or more), and takes up a significant percentage of this small space.The carving is a cathedral-window-shaped affair featuring a tower; at the bottom it firmly proclaims, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer.” As we marveled at this work of art, the owner of the shop came over. “That’s the reason I’m here,” she said, gesturing toward the carving. “I told my husband, ‘I don’t want to open a shop’ but when I saw that, I knew God wanted me here.”
Later, sipping our wine, Vikki and I pondered that little store. What company’s business plan includes building a space that’s tiny to begin with, then reduces what available wall space there is with a Scripture? In this day and age? In this “don’t offend anyone with your beliefs” culture?
That’s not the only Scripture in the place, either. If you look, you’ll find God’s Word sprinkled throughout the buildings, tucked under eaves and into odd corners. Who does that? Apparently the people building Adriatica, that’s who.
Whatever the space planner’s thinking may have been, God knew exactly who was going to fill that small space—and arranged it so a reluctant shop owner would know where she was meant to be. To me, it’s just one more example of God at work, going ahead of us to prepare exactly what we need.