When school starts back and our doorbell rings, it is a sign of neighborhood children selling their latest requirement for fundraising at their local school---wrapping paper, candy, popcorn, coupons--you name it. We always buy from our neighbors' children and joke that when our kids get in school one day, we'll ask them to return the favor and buy something!
Yesterday, I went to get my nails done, which is a treat I don't always afford myself. A friend was there and I knew she had some financial problems. When I asked her how she was doing, she rattled off a list of problems in her life. One included her business was slow this time of the year and she barely had $20 to get a few groceries for her and her husband for the week. Come spring, things always improve because her job is seasonal. This lady loves to shop consignment and so do I. When we see each other, we usually swap a few "guess what I bought" kind of stories on our latest treasure hunts. When I got ready to leave, she said she had something she bought at a thrift store and thought only of me. It was a 1980s type of pageant dress, short, with loads of sequins. "When I saw this dress, it screamed your name!" she said. "It was only 20 dollars and I just had to buy it for you." In my mind I thought, "That thing is tacky!" But I saw the gleam she had in her eye. "I figured with all of the events you do and places you go, surely you could wear this. It's just beautiful," she said. I could feel the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart. "I love those colors and that sparkle. I'd LOVE to have it. Let me pay you for it," and I pulled out the money she paid for the dress and gave it to her. When she walked away, she had a spring in her step. Twenty dollars...that was it, but it will help get her and her husband through a few more days until the next paycheck. When I drove in to work, I looked over at the tattered sequined dress on my front seat and smiled. I had plans for that 20 dollars, but God had a bigger plan.
Matthew 10:8 says, "Freely you have received, freely give." No, I certainly didn't need another pageant dress, much less one I couldn't wear nor one that was 20 years old. But my friend needed some money and someone who would accept her kind thought. Sometimes the greatest blessings come from the smallest things...including consigned pageant dresses.