Tuesday, June 26, 2018

By The Grace of God, Who Gets This?

I thought I’d easily find a home for our spare bed. But God had another plan. 

Nobody in my family needed a double bed. The neighborhood gatekeepers declined. The local furniture bank didn't return my calls. The Vietnam Vets truck only accepts small furniture...no beds.

Finally, reluctantly, I posted a Facebook Marketplace ad. Good condition. $50. 

Then I waited.

Someone messaged me. Before sharing my contact information, I visited her Facebook page...and found off-color jokes and condemning statements. My gut said to pass.

Someone else sent four abrupt messages, "Is this still available?" "Send me the address" "I coming" "Hello" (Guess I didn't respond quick enough in the 60 seconds it took to send the first three bullets.) Her Facebook page?  Well...let's not go there.

Then Dina* contacted me: "Mi interesa este articula."  "Is full?"

"Yes," I responded. "Si." 

Dina's Facebook page revealed a smiling mom with two young children. Although everything was in Spanish, I was able to translate some posts, which were kind and inspiring. 

Between her broken English and my limited Spanish, we agreed she'd come the following day.  I provided my cellphone number, asking her to text first.  I waited to share my address.

I spoke with my husband. "Let’s give the bed away free to the right person," I said. "I think Dina is the right person." He agreed.

The next day when I didn't hear from Dina, I felt discouraged.

I should have admitted I'd reduce the price, I should have emphasized it was in great condition.  

I prayed.  God, please send the right person our way. Someone who needs your help.

Later, Dina texted me. That afternoon, I met her, her mother and her two young children. I greeted them with hugs. We were like old friends right from the start.

I learned they are refugees from Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico last fall. Immediately Dina got a job here teaching Spanish.  Since the electricity was recently restored in Puerto Rico, Dina’s mom is returning to join her husband in salvaging their home. Dina will stay here and work.

Dina’s mom cringed, knowing parting would be difficult. “I’m thankful for my daughter’s opportunity though,” she said.  The things I take for granted...

They wanted the mattress. "I have linens for it," I said. "They’re in excellent condition."

"Gracias," Dina’s mom said. "I think maybe we can’t afford that...how much is the bed? Fifty dollars, right?"

I raised my hands. "We'll give it to you free," I said.

Her jaw dropped. What?

"Yes," I nodded. "I mean...if you want it...it's yours."

"Oh," she said, tears forming. "We want it. We need it. I don't know what to say." 

She turned to Dina, jabbering in Spanish. As she listened, Dina’s face lit up. She looked at me, extended her arms, delivered a big hug, and said, “Thank you!”

"Don't thank me," I said, pointing skyward. "Thank God."

They could hardly contain their joy. Me neither.

Because that, my friend, is just how God works. 

Whatever your situation, never fear. God is in the details. He's always in the details.

Click here for Casting Crowns' "Until the Whole World Hears'   Thanks for reading!   

* not her real name

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