The Gift of a Stranger

Recently at our thrift store, a stranger from out of town stopped in to look around. He had never been to the store before and didn’t really come in for anything specific. After a little while he settled on a book, paid for it, and left.

As he opened the door to exit he stopped and walked back to one of the volunteers. This stranger went right up to the volunteer and asked to pray for him. He said yes and the gentleman prayed for him. As they finished praying, the stranger told the volunteer that he just needed to “Do what is really on your heart and do God’s will and heal your family.”

After saying this to the stunned volunteer, the stranger blessed the thrift store and its workers and told them, “Thanks for all that you do” and left.

When Julie, the store manager returned, the volunteer recounted this story to her. Julie knew the heart of this volunteer and knew that the encouragement he received was exactly what he needed to hear.

Julie shared this story today at our board meeting and assures us that “crazy” things like this happen all the time..

When was the last time you were a part of something that felt bigger that you? Wouldn’t you like to be a part of something bigger? Wouldn’t you love to see God show up in ways you could never imagine?

Volunteering at the thrift store can be quite the adventure. God always seems to show up in the most unexpected ways. If you are interested in volunteering through Common Ground you can email us at or, you can talk to Julie at the thrift store. But, if you do that, be prepared…God will often surprise you.

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