Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Garage Sale

garage sales, sales, sale, Jesus, God, inspiring, garage sale

You say the phrase "Garage Sale" and people visibly cringe.  With some people you can see the work, sweat, negotiating, and hours of sitting, flash before their eyes.  With others, their shoulders instantly droop and their facial expression turns to one of great pain.  For those crazy others, they instantly perk up at the word.  They start rubbing their hands together in glee and get a big thrill at selling off all their unused (and sometimes currently being used) belongings. 

I think I'm somewhere in the middle - I cringe and gripe but the thought of clearing more clutter out of my house is enough of a thrill to motivate me to get it gone.  We have garage sales regularly to try and help our kids clear the clutter out of their rooms and prevent us from stubbing our toes, or worse - stepping on a Lego barefoot.

Our garage sale in November of 2005 though was unforgettable.  We were preparing to move and there were a number of things we did not want to take with us, so this was an extraordinarily large sale.  The sale was going along well.  We were selling kid's clothes and toys by the boat load, knick knacks, and all sorts of other stuff were headed out at lightning speed as well.  In addition to all of that stuff, we had decided to sell our Christmas tree, lights, ornaments, and other tree paraphernalia. 

As we were winding down and the closing hour was upon us, a young father drove up in an older car with his 2 young children, around the ages of 4-6 years old.  They walked up and were perusing what was left.  The children were exceptionally well-behaved and from the quiet conversation the father was having with his children, we could tell that money was extremely tight.  Then the oldest, a girl of about 6, noticed the Christmas tree.  She quietly asked if it was for sale and we responded in the affirmative.  She turned and told her Dad she'd found what she wanted to spend her money on.  Her younger brother followed as she held her father's hand and led him to the Christmas tree and pointed to it.  The young boy's eyes lit up and you could visibly see the excitement dancing across his face. 

The father very quietly spoke to his daughter telling her there was no way she had enough money to buy that tree.  She pleaded with him to ask how much it was.  He relented and we told him $20.  Her face fell, she only had $3.  She pleaded with her father but he told her he couldn't make up the difference because he was out of work, their Mom was sick and they just didn't have the money.  The boy went over and put his arms around his sister and said these words that I will remember for the rest of my life "It's ok.  We'll just draw a picture of a Christmas tree like we did last year.  Mama really liked it.".  Embarrassed, the father was trying to quickly push his children out to the car. 

My husband and I looked at each other and we both had tears in our eyes and didn't even need to speak to know what we were going to do.  My husband ran after the father and stopped him as he was putting his kids in the car while trying to console his extremely sad daughter.  My husband told him the tree was theirs - for free.  The man refused.  My husband looked the man in the eyes and asked him to allow us to spread the love of Jesus and the joy of the Christmas season by giving them the tree. 

Both kids' expressions immediately changed to one of excitement as they looked up at their father with great hope he'd agree.  How could any father refuse those angelic faces?  The little girl jumped with glee and gave her Dad a hug first and then gave my husband the biggest bear hug you could imagine.   The boy hopped out of the car and immediately shook my husband's hand like a gentleman and set about "helping" load the tree onto the car.  The men quickly loaded the Christmas tree onto the car while I grabbed the boxes of lights, as well as all of the decorations, and started loading them into their trunk. The father thought he was only getting the tree and was shocked we were giving him everything.  

After we loaded all of that, I took both kids back to the garage and asked them if they liked any of the toys.  They each pointed out several items, which I put in a bag and handed to their father.  As they were leaving and with tears running down his face, the father thanked us and told us how much we had blessed his family.  With tears running down both of our faces, my husband told him that in truth he and his family had blessed us beyond measure.
Our thoughts on holding garage sales have never been the same since.

by: Christie Bielss

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