A week and a half ago, I went to a subdivision garage sale with my mother. We stopped at a sale, and I ran into these...
My soul definitely had goosebumps at the time. You see, I have been looking for chairs to go with my dining room set for about three years now. I had purchased a beautiful dining table off of Craigslist and found four antique, Jacobean chairs for a great deal from another Craigslist dealer. At the time, we only had five bodies in our home (one still in a highchair), and I figured I would find some more chairs that would coordinate decently well pretty easily... right? Wrong! I kept my eye open at stores and watched on Craigslist to no avail.
With two more bodies in our home over the past few years, I knew I needed more chairs as soon as possible. When I found the chairs at this garage sale, I couldn't believe it. Surely, they would look well with my set at home... Surely Brian would approve... Surely I would not have to hunt for dining room chairs any longer. The garage sale was about to end for the day so I had to move quickly. I ran home to Brian and showed him a photo. He approved. Yay! We hopped in the car and reviewed the furniture in person. Brian stayed with the gentlemen while I retrieved our cash from the bank.
When I returned from the bank, I found out that the man's family was in a difficult position. He had just lost his job and was losing his home too. They are renters, and the owner is selling the place. He and his wife had made a difficult decision to sell this set of table and chairs - a set that they had bought from someone else years ago and had to refinish with a lot of manpower - a set where they had dined for many, many meals. I told him how thankful we were for the chairs and how I had been looking for something to coordinate with mine for so long. He remarked that he was appreciative that the furniture would be going to a home where it was loved.
Yesterday, a knock came at the door. Brian answered it and stepped out onto the porch. I saw the man from the garage sale. Wow! Imagine that... he found us! We told him we lived in the subdivision across the street, but didn't tell him our last names or our address. How did he find us? It turns out that he has been looking for us since shortly after the sale. He had come to our house to ask humbly and politely if we would sell the table and chairs back to them. They felt they rushed into the decision about selling the items, and his wife has been heartbroken since the day of the sale. Sigh... This news brought sorrow to my own heart. After fulfilling my own hopes and dreams of finding chairs that work well with my set, I would now have to relinquish them. I really didn't even think about keeping them once I heard the request. The depths of my heart knew immediately how to answer. I had quickly asked myself things like:
What would Jesus do?
How will I feel if I don't return the furniture?
How will I feel each time I look at or use the furniture?
What would I want someone to do for me?
Even though it would be difficult, I knew I had to surrender and trust that God will grant His grace to me because of it.
Brian and I both knew in our hearts that we would have to sell that furniture back to the man. Brian called him this morning and discovered that the man and his family attend a local Baptist church and school where we have other acquaintances. What a small world!
Yes, we are not only returning this special furniture to a family who obviously needs it, but to a family who loves Jesus. Somehow I know God is in this... for some particular purpose.
My trust is in the Lord and His goodness.