Gently Used

By Rev. Jevon Caldwell-Gross | 09/28/2018
I've been to a few rummage sales in my life, but this will be our first here at St. Luke's.  Some fellow staff members and I were walking through Great Hall previewing all the items and we were quickly reminded by an incredible volunteer that, "there is more on the way!"  She continued to remind us that there's something for everybody in the rummage sale and...she was right. We saw 
everything from vacuums, to children's books, to paintings, crockpots, and even shot glasses.   As we perused, I couldn't help but think that there must be a lesson in all of this.  While it wasn't Sunday, I heard God speaking loud and clear during this service of "Rummage Sales."
We all have stuff.  Yes, all of us.  The Great Hall is filled with all kinds of stuff right now.  You wouldn't believe what people have had stored away in their homes.  If you get a chance to look through it all, you will see things that look familiar to you, things that you probably didn't even know existed anymore, and even things that will make you wonder, "what is the story behind this?" 
What would it look like if people were rummaging through the halls of our lives? I'm sure people rummaging through our halls would conclude that they are not so "great".  If they looked through the halls of our past, the halls of our present, and even peeked into the halls of our future they will see our stuff; they might see some something familiar, maybe something they had never seen before, and maybe even wonder what the story is behind it. But one thing is for sure, they will find some "stuff" - yes, we all have stuff.
You have what someone needs. Everything in the rummage sale has been donated by someone hoping that someone else will find a home for it.  Whatever you buy has already had a previous owner.  For whatever reason or motivation, someone was willing to hand it over.  So, it was with the young boy that handed his lunch to Jesus.  So, it was with the widow that gave all she could during the time of offering.  So, it was with Peter and James when they met the beggar outside of the temple gates and when asked for alms, they simply responded, "silver and gold I have not, but what I do have, I give to you." While we may think what we have isn't enough or impressive, someone has a need for something that we possess.  Maybe it's a talent, a word of encouragement, a moment of our time, a shared experience, or maybe just an open ear.  But rest assured, we all have something to give.
At the rummage sale, everything has value.  While some things are in much better shape, everything at one time had a value.  There are many items that still have its original price tag, but some items are "gently used" yet even still, it all has value.  Life often has that same effect on us.  We are often tempted to lower the value of ourselves and even lower the value of others because we too have been worn at times. But in this season, let us pray that God helps us to see and find value not in the ministries, people or experiences that are in mint condition, but even those that have been "gently used."  God help us to see value in all things.