When my children were small and money was very tight, my husband would hand me a crisp $100 bill and send me off with my mother to the Junior League “Trash to Treasure” sale. They had a children’s clothing resale section (mostly coming from the closets of boutique-loving, well-to-do families) and we would divide and conquer, each taking a child to shop for. We’d jump into the fray and just start grabbing anything that looked remotely cute, then we’d reconvene and huddle in a corner to really examine what we had. There was a line that would form behind us, and we’d just toss any castoffs back to waiting (read: GRABBING) hands. We had to be really careful not to get run over by people, and while we were never hurt, it got pretty crazy and, in some cases, really ugly. At the end of the day, I’d have about 10-15 complete outfits PER CHILD, so it was worth the effort, but I always came away shaking my head at the crazy.

In just a little while, I will gird my strength to do something really similar. We’ve discovered a children’s resale company that has resale events all over the country, called Rhea Lana. It’s huge and really good, and there is one about an hour southeast of me today. (I didn’t know about it until the last minute or I would’ve recruited my mother to come help me shop!) I’m gonna grab up what I can for my grandbabies, and I have a feeling that I’ll need to use the same careful eye not to be mowed down into oblivion by other, um, determined shoppers.

What is it that makes us feel such a sense of urgency, in these types of situations, that we work ourselves into a frenzy? In this case it’s children’s clothes, for heaven’s sake! There is the thrill of the hunt for the elusive great bargain on that normally high-dollar designer item, but is that really worth turning into bull-dozing maniacs? I’ve had things ripped from my hands before, and folks shove up in front of me! But really, this doesn’t just happen in these kinds of isolated situations.

This happens all the time in everyday life.

People step on others to get ahead in a job. They wring every last drop of whatever they can get out of a person, then discard them when they are no longer useful. Backstabbing is rampant. Lying to, or about, is commonplace.

When did we start considering other people to be tools for our gain, or roadblocks in our path?

The moment we start to consider our own needs more important than those of our fellow man, we become machines. Our hearts become hard and calloused, and we become singularly focused and mechanical, like a bulldozer, indifferent to anything around us and pushing anything aside that gets in our way. Isn’t it interesting that, when we do the opposite and consider others’ needs more important, we become less machine-like…and more human? Our hearts soften, and we start building instead of tearing down.

I’m going to have fun in the hunt this morning, but I’ll try to be friendly, and helpful when I can. Seriously, who needs heavy machinery first thing in the morning?

Or ever?


“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29 ESV

“The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31 ESV