The thrift store and I go back a long ways.
I began going to thrift stores when I was 16. I love the interesting people I meet shopping there, and all the treasures I find are just an added bonus!
This past year, I had gotten several bags of clothes ready to donate to the local Goodwill. I was going into town to run errands and dropping off my donations was first on my list. As I was in the shower that morning, I began to pray about these clothes… that God would use them or use me at the Goodwill. It was odd, because I don’t recall ever praying specifically for this before…
I finished getting ready and put all the things in my van. It was a cold, sunny day and I pulled straight into a parking spot near the back of the store. I got out of the van, and there was a middle-aged lady leaning on the trunk of her car. She was just standing there- it was like she was waiting for me. It was the craziest thing!
“Hi, how are you doing?” I asked her, casually.
I immediately thought of the things in my van, and as I opened my van to take out the items, I asked her if she needed any of the things I was giving away. I had lots of clothing and shoes, and even a bicycle I was donating.
“Do you need a bike? Or maybe you know someone else who needs it?” I asked her, sure that somehow God wanted me to help this woman with something. I was a little surprised that she didn’t take anything I was giving away.
Then she said, “No… well, what I really need is a coat.”
I sifted through several bags, and unfortunately I didn’t have one to offer her.
“How about I go inside and look for one for you?”
She said she had already been inside, and that there were none that fit her. Immediately I knew I had to find her a coat, and was even prepared to go to another store to find one, if I needed to. She smiled and said she’d be inside in a few minutes.
I went to the rack of coats, and as I was looking, the workers put out several more on the rack. I picked up a beautiful cranberry colored coat and just as I held it up, she walked into the store.
“I think I found you one!” I smiled and held it out for her. She slipped her arms through the coat and smiled.
“It’s a perfect fit!” I said to her.
“I think this one is 5$, and I wasn’t expecting to pay quite that much for a coat today.” I could hear the embarrassment in her voice.
I had planned on purchasing it all along for her. “It’s my treat,” I smiled as I took the coat from her arms.
She followed me up to the register without saying a word. I handed the cashier the money for the coat, and the lady asked the casher for a piece of paper and a pen. I wondered what she was going to do with it.
“Will you write down your name for me?” the lady said to me with tears in her eyes.
I smiled. I have a feeling she just wanted to prove to someone that this had actually happened to her. So I signed it-
God bless you!
How different all our excursions would be if we prayed to be used. How different life is when we see ourselves as “messengers” on a mission for Him. I don’t know that lady’s name… but all I know is that God used me to help someone else- and that lady, who seemed to be waiting for me-
was actually an answer to my prayer!
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:14
Lord, help me to focus on You and the little missions You want to use me for- not matter how small, no matter how insignificant they might seem. Help me to give generously, love unconditionally, and to do all things for You!