Thursday, May 9, 2013

Value Village Mission

So for the past few days I had this nagging feeling that I should go to Value Village. I felt like there was something there I needed. A little weird? Not so much for a thrifter. Sometimes you just get the feeling that there is a treasure waiting for you. I hadn't been to this VV in about 5 months and thought that maybe there was some vintage fabrics waiting to be discovered.

While my daughter and I were making our way to the fabric section of the store I heard a man say something. I didn't realize he was talking to me. Once he caught my attention he asked if I had a couple dollars because he needed to buy these pants. He held up a pair of men's dress pants. My immediate reaction was negative, "ugh, just another guy wanting my money". My very next reaction was one of compassion, "Here is a man who needs PANTS". I looked in my wallet but I only had a dollar bill. Not enough to buy pants. I explained to him that if he could be patient and wait for us I would buy him the pants when I was done shopping. He said yes and was very appreciative.

My daughter and I went to look at the fabric but there was no treasure waiting there for us. A thought struck me. This guy, this is the reason why I was supposed to come here. Now, for some of you, this may seem like crazy talk. But as a Christian, sometimes I feel like God is tugging me in certain directions or calling me to do things. So when this thought struck me I figured God planned this all out. I went back to the man and told him I couldn't spend a fortune but I would like to get him a few things. I told him to look around and find what he needs. He said thank you and went off to look.

My daughter and I couldn't find anything. We found the gentleman and told him we were ready to go. He said he was too. All he had was that pair of dress pants. I asked him if he wanted to get a shirt and he said "I got a shirt" and pointed to the one he was wearing. I was blown away by this humility. If this had been someone else I was sure they would have picked out a dozen things.

We went up and paid for the pants. Afterwards he said thank you and was going to leave the store. I asked him if there was anything else he needed. He insisted that he didn't. I asked him if he was hungry. "Yes" he admitted. I told him I would get him some breakfast. Across the street from the VV is a grocery store. I told him I would meet him there.

He went to the deli counter to pick out some food and I went to the bakery to get my daughter a snack. When I went back to find him I found a security guard telling him he wasn't allowed to be in the store begging. Now I'm not sure what I missed while I was off but I don't think it really warranted the lecture from the security guy. I think what happened was that the homeless man tried asking the security man if there was a debit machine (because I had explained to him that I didn't have cash). The man did have a speech delay and I think the security guard may have misunderstood the man's question. I chimed in that the man was with me and that I would be paying for the things he needed. Mr. Security was all "Oh yes that is fine". So I took the man back to the deli and he picked out a drink and 3 pieces of chicken. I asked him he had a place to stay and a fridge because he could pick out a few things if he needed them. He said no he didn't. I asked him if he needed anything else.Nope, just the drink and 3 pieces of chicken.

Once again I was just blown away at the simple things he wanted. He could have picked up a shopping basket full of groceries and asked me to pay for it. But no, he just needed something to quench his thirst and some protein.

He really just wanted the bare necessities.

We have so much when so many people have so little.

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