Here it is again – Barn Sale Time! I continue to love the IRCC Barn Sale. The barn - here on-site at the church – fills up over the winter and early Spring. How? People move. A family member passes away and things need to be removed from a now vacant home. Some one buys a house to convert into a rental and it has items in that need to go. People just do Spring cleaning and have items to get rid of. By box loads, truck loads, and larger items that constitute a load in and of themselves, items arrive. This very minute, as I write, the big sorting is underway: furniture, glass ware, hardware, tools, books, art, games, toys, sporting goods, Christmas decorations, collectibles, small appliances and more are being examined, cleaned, grouped and priced. Some of it will be purchased by the people working on it – never fear, most of those folk also bring stuff in when they come to work. Some of it will already have been given to folks who had a need for a dresser, dinette set, or whatever. And more things arrive from out in the community even as the items that have been in the barn all winter are being sorted. Then, June 3-5 this year, the doors open to the public. That first morning there will be a frantic burst of activity and then it settles in to a stream. Come the last morning, prices are EXTREMELY negotiable. At this point we love yard-salers who may bargain for a truck load. When the doors finally close on the last day of the sale, what remains (Quite a bit usually!) will be divided up. Some will be free to anyone who has a need. Some will be taken to ministries like Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, or the Blessing Exchange who specialize in getting certain kinds of items to new homes. Some will go to the congregation’s scrap and paper drives. Some will be converted to wood-burner chow to keep another home warm come Winter again. The proceeds from all the sales will be put to good use by the congregation’s Women’s Ministry. A tiny percentage of the barn full of stuff will end up in the dumpster.
This is the bottom line for me. We are such a throw away society. The barn sale gives people an option for shedding unwanted items other than the landfills. Almost all of those items will be put into service for another go round. Money will be raised for good works. It always strikes me as a win/win/win/win.
It also strikes me as an expression of our creation in the image of God. The same culture that regards so many things as completely disposable, frequently looks at people the same way. The world devalues the elderly because they have too many years of wear on them, the weak because they seem to have too little utility, the fallen because they are damaged goods and the different because – well they are different. News-Flash: we are all different and age and weakness come everyone sooner or later. But God is a God of restoration, redemption, and revitalization. God is a God of second chances – third and fourth chances too. God is not content to let us end up on the trash dump of history or society. We are still treasures to Him and He can put us into service again!
Pastor and Author Terry Bailey, Senior Minister of Indian Run Christian Church