My friends Kristy and Megan turned me toward the County Garage Sale trend at differing times, but now I regularly browse through the Facebook groups to see what’s offered that I need love. And, much like the rest of my life, it’s become a huge science experiment. Y’all, people are fascinating.

But now I’m sad.

First, there was this:

garage sale church.jpg


This one caught my eye first because it was about church and, on the whole, I seem to be about church. But the more I got to thinking about it, the more this post broke my heart.

Here was this person living through a difficult time. She decides that she needs to go to church to see if that won’t help – a noble and not always easy decision.

And she doesn’t know a single real-live person to ask where to go.

She asks a bunch of people who buy and sell junk together.

My friends, this is a problem.

It’s not a problem because the Garage Sale sites need to become our next marketing target – it’s a problem because the people going to the 109 churches of Miami County don’t know her personally, or not one of them has made it known to this woman that they do indeed attend and that she is welcome to join. Our circles don’t connect or even touch. The only place she can find someone who *might* go to church is on a garage sale site.

My science experiment moved forward a few weeks later:

garage sale need

Right there, among the Longaberger baskets, was a kind woman trying to help a family with children who had nothing. They needed food, clothes, toothpaste and all the very things we keep in stock because it’s on sale. And when looking for people to help contribute, the coordinator turned to: the garage sale site. Of course. Because people who sell crap are known among the world for helping the down and out. The church has no history there.

*Hangs head in shame.*

Finally, when my heart was already torn, a post stomped it into oblivion. It said, “are there any shelters in Troy for women and children?”

Until I joined a garage sale site, I didn’t realize how I surrounded myself with people who were just like me. I inadvertently thought we were all parents of toddlers who liked buying and eating local. I’ve realized I’m basically only around people who want to live into a better world and have the money to make decisions that will help them do it. We talk about our love for maxi skirts and disciplining kids and how hard it is to live your values. I wanted to believe we all have our “differences” but really, that comes down to meaningless stuff like if we were sprinkle-baptized or dunked, or maybe we choose to eat dairy-free instead of McDonalds.

Yesterday, along with these sites, revealed to me just how unlike Jesus I really am.

If all you do is love the loveable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that.

It’s not my lack of helping people unlike myself. It’s not even my good intention-paved road.  It’s my lack of knowing people unlike myself that keeps me from living the gospel.

Visit me elsewhere: