Friday, March 17, 2017


I've been at the Bargain Box for a good, long time now ~ certainly long enough to say which of our problems are bigger than others.  Here's a list I'm working on:

- determine the problems in order of priority
- solve the problems in like order

Our ministry and our business issues ebb and flow like most things in life, but there's one particular thing, one solid pattern I've noticed through the years, and it's this:  if anyone ever gets the idea that we are throwing something away, there's a nearly instant sense of insult and injustice.

Please, no one person should feel I'm pointing directly.  It's been at every opportunity, I've noticed, whether I post to our page, or say something out loud, or carry something to the dumpster:

"Are you throwing that away?  Are you seriously just throwing that away?!  There's probably some homeless shelter nearby that could use that stuff.  Or an animal shelter.  Or a ... just ... anything, but throw it away!  That's just shameful."

I've learned to count to ten, remind myself that you just don't know what you don't know.

Here's another list of things we either have done or currently do with things we cannot sell:

- throw it away
- give it to homeless shelters
- give it to animal shelters
- give it to elder care centers
- give it to Goodwill so they can bail it
- make grab bags so that folks can buy 20-40 articles of clothing for $1
- recycle every possible thing we can

But somebody's gonna stop at "throw it away."

We're in the season of Lent now, and people understand Lent in different ways.  For some people, it means they're getting rid of stuff, and that's really great.  We like it when people bring us their stuff, because selling it is how we support missions all around the world.

Take the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge1, just for instance.  In our particular case, lots of local folks are participating, and so lots of folks are bringing us lots of stuff.  At times, we have more stuff than we have the manpower to manage, and so we have to make some choices.  Refer to that last list.  I am regularly calling on our other sources to take some of our stuff, but guess what.  They also regularly have too much stuff.

One of my favorite things about Jesus was the way that he answered questions.

"Why's that guy blind?"
"Can't I just put her out?"
"Why's that woman wasting the good stuff?"
"Who do you think you are?"

He almost always answered with his own question and the question usually pointed to something that the seeker already knew.  It wasn't that people didn't know the answers.  It was that they didn't want to deal with them.

1 This girl's totally on the right track.  I recommend her articles.