Sunday, May 16, 2010

Encountering God through CRAIGSLIST

I thought I was simply getting rid of the honking huge heavy treadmill in my basement. And while that did happen, I also experienced yet another encounter with God when this guy and his son showed up to cart the thing away. What are the chances? I credit the Holy Spirit, although I'll note some human agency (aka, free will) was involved. How so?

Responses to my ad started popping up within 20 minutes of posting it on craigslist. Lots of responses. I decided that combining "the last shall be first, and the first last" (Jesus as per Matthew 19:30) with "justice as fairness" (Rawls in A Theory of Justice) would work well.

Soon, however, I found myself down the rabbit hole of text deconstruction ─ a fancy pants way of noting that I eliminated responses with: 1) bad spelling/txt spk; 2) no contact information; and 3) evidence of unbridled self-entitlement (e.g., "Let me know where I can pick this up right now").

Meanwhile, I'd already saved the email opening with, "We could sure use that treadmill..." The phrase "could sure use" caught my heart, along with mention of training for charity 5ks, but I can't say it's what made me contact the future owner of my former treadmill.

Over the years I've learned ─ often the hard way ─ what it feels like to be nudged by the Holy Spirit, whether or not I'm actively praying, "Come, Holy Spirit."

So, I'm convinced the Holy Spirit compelled me to answer Brother Terry's email. The rightness of this action intensified when I heard him say, "this is a blessing" during our phone conversation. More evidence: only the Holy Spirit could make me get up too early on a Saturday morning.

What happened next was clearly God-appointed and anointed ─ the brother in Christ who showed up; overhearing a loving father* gently guide his son through the maneuvers of hauling equipment; curbside chitchat about seminary education, music and ministry; swapping books and CDs; an exchange of peace ─ all proving once again that church is not a building, thanks be to God.

By the way, this kind of stuff happens to me all the time. I hope and pray that it does for you, too.

*On my own father's yahrzeit.


  1. I'm sure this sort of thing happens to all of us, but thanks for making me more aware so I don't miss it.

    And blessings to you and your father.

  2. Living a life of awareness takes intentionality - which I consistently see in your behavior. Praise God that you make His life in you real, meaningful and filled with wit and wonder.


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