We all are looking for something. Every day that you live, you are looking for something. This was brought out to me recently at our yard sale at the house. Lucy and I took all day on Friday getting things ready to sell. I even asked a couple of strong men in our church family to help get a couple of big items from the shed in China Grove to our house in Salisbury. They also brought two long tables from our church building to set things out on. Lucy and I spent time gathering things, labeling items, and even going to the bank to have money to make exchanges. The clock was set for an early rise on Saturday, so we could set the stuff out on the driveway and be ready for the early birds. And then we waited. The customers drifted in slowly. Then the rain came and we had to pull many of the items back into the garage. After the blow over, back out came the treasures. From seven to noon we waited for the multitudes that never came. Oh, we had enough folks to buy 25 cent, and one dollar things that we made a whopping – drum roll please – $76.00. Well, not exactly. You see, we saw some items that our neighbor was selling and we went over and bought them. But they never bought any of our fine items.
Now why did Lucy and I go through that ordeal? Because we wanted something. We wanted to sell my dad’s lift chair and motorized scooter to put away some money for mom whose income has certainly decreased since dad’s death. Our old dining room table and chairs as well as dad’s lift chair were taking up space in our garage and we wanted to free that space up. And as with most families, many “needed” items at one time had become just “stuff” and we wanted to unload our no longer “needed” items on someone else.
And how about the 40 some people that stopped to take a look, or the many others driving by with a quick look? They all were looking for something.
- Those never stopping, just driving slowly by, didn’t see in our stuff that/those item(s) they were looking for.
- Others made a quick walk around our driveway and headed back to their vehicle, because they were looking for something in particular and we weren’t providing it.
- There were many, I’m sure, who were looking for the steal of a lifetime – or maybe the thrill of bargaining us down to a ridiculous price.
- There were some who weren’t looking for any particular items, just the delight of “shopping”. That is what they were after.
- One couple seemed to be interested in using the yard sale hopping to teach their child the value of money and the value of making good, well-thought-out choices.
We saw excitement on a few faces when they spotted a certain item. Then there were the frowns of people not finding what they were after. There was boredom written on the faces of quite a few children as they were being dragged around by parents looking for “parent toys” and not “kid toys”. And then there were the faces that changed while visiting our place. They walked up, disinterested, lost in their own little world, ready for another quick visit and were met by our efforts to communicate, encourage, and engage them in conversation. It was our hope to help them feel they were more important to us than getting them to buy stuff. And it was so precious to see many of their facial expressions and their demeanor change to a more lively tone. For you see, above anything else Lucy and I were looking for on that Saturday, we were looking to be God’s blessing to everyone we met. One lady even commented, how refreshing it was to visit our home. Every other place they had been that morning the hosts kept to themselves and wouldn’t carry on a conversation. She thanked us for being so friendly and we were able to learn a few things to pray for in her family.
Back behind the things people are pursuing and think they want, is a deep need to be noticed, appreciated, and valued. And sadly, so many are not receiving enough of that in their families and especially out in the world. And that is where you come in. God can use you to be His link to them. He can open your eyes so you see them, feel for them, and reach out to them. The Lord values those people He sends your way 1) He died for them 2) He sends them your way for what He can do for them through you. There are no accidental encounters. And those meetings can become God encounters if you and I will use them for God’s glory and the other person’s good. You see, behind every need in a person’s life is his or her need of Jesus. AND every day we have numerous opportunities to be Jesus to someone – to notice them – to encourage them – to value them. I hope that is something you’ll be looking for this week – opportunities to be Jesus to someone.