Julie had been working extra hours to sort through new donations and put out spring clothes on the floor for the upcoming sale. She was wrapping up for the night when she heard a knock on the door. It was a regular customer from out of town, looking at her with a sense of desperation. Julie opened the door and invited her in. Once inside the elderly woman shared her story with Julie. She told her about her daughter, who was currently in jail, and left her to care for her grandchildren. She went on to tell her that her husband was sick and unable to help much around the house or with the kids. She went on to say they had very little money for clothing for the kids and was wondering is she could come up to the store and help Julie sort clothes in exchange for store credit that she could use to buy stuff for her grandkids.
Our mission to make sure NO ONE is without ANYTHING they might need. Julie would have gladly just given her anything she needed for her grandchildren. Instead, this elderly woman wanted the dignity of working for what she was getting and was willing to come to Common Ground and ask for the opportunity to do so.
Giving clothing and material goods is important but creating space for people in need to maintain a sense of self-respect and dignity is a completely different kind of goodness. We are honored that she would want to give her time to the mission of our Thrift Store. In a paradoxical flip, she is being Jesus to us and not the other way around. This poor woman is teaching us more about what it means to be a good neighbor, and lover of Jesus than any book, movie, or sermon could.
I’m telling you this story so you’ll know that what you do matters. All of you that serve through Common Ground are creating a thin space (that’s where the space between heaven and earth is thinnest) so that people can experiencing the good love of the Father. Thank you for being willing to answer the call to serve. Without our amazing volunteers we couldn’t do what we do.
If you are interested in volunteering at the various Common Ground programs, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone will call you back within a day or two and talk to you about getting plugged in.
Grace and peace to you and yours.