I picked up about 10 books that day, and was flicking through my purchases, and discovered $35 in one of the books (Radical by David Platt).
What to do? I checked the inside front cover for the previous owner's details - to return the money to them. The only words were "P.121 Just giving stuff away". Page 121 had some interesting words on Jesus...
"What if he told you and me to sell everything we have? What if he told us to sell our houses for simpler living arrangements? What if he told us to sell our cars for more modest ones - or for no cars at all? What if he told us to give away all but a couple of sets of clothes? What if ..."
A few pages earlier, the author mentioned that if we have shelter, clothes food and transport (even public transport) we are in the top 15 percent of wealthiest people.
I wonder if the money was intentional. As well as giving the books to support Lifeline's work with those in need, perhaps the money inside was a gift to the person buying this book. The previous owner's way of paying it forward.
It reminded me that part of why I buy books at Bookfest is to rescue great books and share them around. So if you know me personally, check out my library on Shared Bookshelves - and feel free to borrow any of these books from me. I'll add more as I read them.
If you're a far away reader, why not start a similar thing yourself? Put a list of your books on your church notice board - or on Shared Bookshelves - or on facebook for your Christian friends. It could be a real blessing to someone else.
PS. You probably won't find money in books you buy at Lifeline Bookfest, but you may get something even more valuable by reading these books. There are great Christian books available at a bargain price.