Garage Sale Treasures.
It’s the annual day of the community garage sale. For my kids this means an early rise, and traveling on their bikes – like little ducklings in a row, around the neighborhood with their dollars and coins in hand to find the latest treasures.
I was at home cleaning, most likely pondering over the amount of time and effort it takes to keep an eight-member home clean and in order. (Did you catch my vantage point? – I was thinking through MY eyes. One might, in fact, accurately summarize my thoughts at that moment as “me, me, me.”) This is important to note, because what’s in our hearts is what comes out of our mouths. And, my view that day was certainly self-focused.
My children began to come inside with their precious, rare treasures.
Street signs that apparently had been one child’s room decor . I ran it through my undetected filter of practicality. Hmm. Yes, I could see the kids having fun with this and nailing these in the wooded, “race track” area on our property where they ride four-wheelers and motorcycles. My reaction was approval.
Next up, a SECURITY jacket. I could just see Daniel with his sparkly, mischievous eyes having a blast with this new costume accessory. This was a keeper indeed. And, hey, it could easily hang in the foyer closet. Everything has to have a place or out it goes, you know. My reaction was supportive.
And then a huge, fuzzy, pink, man-sized gorilla costume was pulled out of a large, black, plastic trash bag.
Our “Me-Filter” Reveals Our Focus.
My first thought was “Where in the world are we going to store that big ol’ thing?!” Thankfully I didn’t say that. Go me!
The kids’ ginormous smiles revealed their sheer joy over this one-of-a-kind keepsake while my mind quickly processed this fuzzy finding through a self-centered grid that revealed my priorities. Important to me in child-rearing are laughter and opportunities for creativity. Check. I could see this pink gorilla costume being a fun addition to our already overflowing supply of dress-up fashion ensembles. And the practical, everything-must-have-a-place part of me instantly reasoned. “It can go in a big box under the bed.” Good. Problem solved.
I shared in their enthusiasm with no trace of the “me-filter” I had unknowingly used in processing whether the items were keepers or not.
People Over Things.
My vantage point could have resulted in things over people rather than people over things. My value on practicality and a clutter-free home could take precedence over the relationships with those in my home.
You have your own “me-filter” that, when not seeing through the other person’s eyes, could result in things over people. Your obsession with germs could result in stifling your child’s creative development, cause hyper-sensitivity in their thoughts, or result in a well-intended, but hurtful response to their pink gorilla discovery. “Get that nasty thing out of here. We don’t know where it’s been.”
When we put people over things, considering the other’s vantage point while laying aside our own priorities, our reactions will be reflect esteeming others greater than ourselves.
Here are a few verses about the importance of our words. They do reveal our focus and priorities – the treasures in our heart.
Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
I Thessalonians 5:11, “Encourage one another and build each other up.”
Proverbs 21:23, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.”
The Pink Gorilla Suit
Each time this crazy costume is pulled out of the box, I’m reminded of the importance of our words and seeing through the eyes of a child. This pink gorilla suit has been the bomb.com. Check out this 30 second video production. (My apologies about the title. No gorilla was injured in any way in the making of this video).
It’s been worn by tens of people to many locations and provided laughter throughout its travels. I won’t identify the child in the costume. But the video is Kelsey and the one below is Daniel. Oops. My bad. And, personally, I think it’s healthy to laugh at ourselves, and not take ourselves too seriously. Pride goes before a fall, you know.
Today’s story of the garage sale treasures ended with kind words. Tomorrow’s post is Garage Sale Treasures and Unkind Words. Yikes. You can read my pitiful story here. You can subscribe to get blog posts sent directly to you by simply entering your email address.
Rhonda mayweseethroughtheeyesofothers ellis