Love in the Yard of Strangers

I [Ken] am not a fan of shopping in any form or fashion, but I must admit I have enjoyed the last couple of Saturdays as Robin and I have been “yard-sellin”.

True, we’ve gotten some GREAT deals on children’s clothes and toys, but that’s not my favorite part. I am excited about the children who will be wear those clothes and playing with those toys, but that’s still not it. No, my favorite part has been the encouragement that Robin and I have received from the people selling their wares.

A typical encounter begins with us looking over what the folks have set out. We invariably gravitate to the children’s clothes.

“How big are your kids?” Is the question that is almost always asked.

“We’re not sure.” Is our usual response.

Odd looks. Afterall, what kind of parents don’t know their kids sizes?

Robin and I exchange looks. We mentally play rock-paper-scissors to determine who’s turn it is to explain our situation.

One of us starts to explain, “We’re adopting two from the Congo.”

Suddenly the barriers between strangers disappear. Words of encouragement and congratulations follow. No longer are we haggling over prices. [*]

People want to see pictures. They want to hear details. They feel free to ask questions. Lots of questions. How old? How long? What language? When are you going? Why the Congo?

Other customers wait. Or ask their own questions.

But always. ALWAYS. People wish us well or promise to pray for us. They seem to be genuinely excited for us. Every yard sale quickly turns into pep-rally. Strangers give us hugs. STRANGERS! HUGS!!! Seriously!

Better than the deals is the fresh excitement and enthusiasm. God has been blessing us through the kindness of strangers.


[*] Actually most people give us CRAZY deals. Sometimes I don’t want to tell people because I don’t want to be guilty of manipulating their emotions. But Emmanuel getting school approved polo shirts for only ten cents is AWESOME!


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