When we moved into our home, we had very little furniture to put into it. Providentially the previous owner asked if it would be alright to leave her old furniture as she down-sized. In addition to being the answer to prayer, our unfurnished home was suddenly overly-furnished. In short, Craigslist and I become fast friends as we sold off a kayak, coffee tables, lamps, and a dining room set that we did not need.
I imagine many are leery of Craigslist (and with good reason). I include myself in this list. However, I also have a deep appreciation for the idea of a community of folks who can collaborate to meet one another's needs. This sounds vaguely familiar:
And all who believed were together
and had all things in common.
And they were selling their
possessions and belongings and
distributing the proceeds to all,
as any had need. -Acts 2:44-45
After all, isn't this what the previous owner had done for us?
Since adjusting to our space, I've used this source to acquire odds and ends and to rid ourselves of possessions I can no longer imagine a use for. This weekend I prepared to put it to the ultimate test: Giving away our weathered, old fence pickets, FAST. Friends told us we could do it, but we were skeptical.
Friday afternoon, our fence begins to come down and up goes my hopeful post to the free board on Craigslist. In less than an hour, every last piece of wood available had been picked up and gratefully loaded into trucks. It was unreal. In talking with the folks who came for it, I asked what purpose they had in mind for this boatload of old wood. One needed to build a fence themselves, one
was an artist who was seeking out colors you cannot find in new, treated wood.
These are thrifty, artistic, hope-filled folks who can make something out of seemingly nothing. And, in a small way, I believe this is another run-of-the-mill example, played out on a smaller stage, of what God hopes do in us: To take our weaknesses, our brokenness, our weathered beauty and to use it in ways we have not yet imagined. Who am I to say what does or does not have any further use or life in it?
Craigstlist encounters as acts of revelation? Stranger things have happened.
When a man turns to Christ and seems to be getting on pretty well (in the sense that some of his bad habits are now corrected), he often feels that it would now be natural if things went fairly smoothly. When troubles come along – illnesses, money troubles, new kinds of temptation – he is disappointed. These things, he feels, might have been necessary to rouse him and make him repent in his bad old days, but why now? Because God is forcing him on, or up, to a higher level: putting him in situations where he will have to be very much braver, or more patient, or more loving, than he ever dreamed of being before. It seems to us all unnecessary: but that is because we have not yet the slightest notion of the tremendous thing He means to make of us. -C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity