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  • DJTommyP

FB Marketplace Mission?

At times, my wife seems obsessed with Facebook Marketplace. Ok, she's not obsessed...normally. It is not her idol. She does love good deals. So in a way, I should be grateful for that. Better that then insisting on going to boujee shops on El Paseo.

So one Sunday morning my wife is eyeing some CA beach prints. She already asked to stay home and stream church as she threw out her back. I was understanding. She has been walking like the hunchback of Notre Dame. It is best that she rests. Ok, sweet! A chilled laid back Sunday morning. Drinking my coffee and going to stream the 9AM of Southwest Church (Indian Wells).

At about 8:50AM my wife approaches the living room and says, "Ok, don't be mad". That's like showing a T-bone steak to a dog and saying don't be hungry. She then proceeds to inform me that the woman with the beach prints needs to sell ASAP as she needs gas to drive to San Diego. Red flag one.

What and what?! Now?! My anger starts to boil. Her telling me not to get mad or calm down is like a hearing thunder before a storm. So I had a choice to make. Just go with it or temper tantrum. Or I could have just calmly dug my heals in and quite rightly justified that we should watch church and mystery FB Marketplace woman could wait or buzz off. I opted to just go with it. Why? I'm not sure. Perhaps it was I didn't want my wife in danger. For when she makes her mind up, she can be stubborn like me. Do we ruin a Sunday over this? Or do we go with the flow and easily stream 11AM service? Latter option wins.

Keep in mind, on my way to said FB Marketplace pick up, I was not kumbaya. I was not husband of the year. I was grumbling all the way. Bad attitude was my middle name. And in certain ways, in my mind, I was justified.

Ironically, our FB Marketplace was the same storage unit where we help That was interesting and then came some more red flags. FB Marketplace Beach Print Woman (let's call her Melinda), sends my wife a message that she can't get passed security gate of storage place as she is behind on her bill. Uh oh. She ends up following someone else in. Next flag, we receive message from Melinda that she has discovered that management has put their own lock on her door so she can't even get access to her prints/stuff. Uh oh, red flag three. Is this going to be the preface of some Dateline story? Even during our grumbling drive over I joked to my wife, "Is this the beginning of our 48 Hours episode?"

For whatever reason, as my wife shared that news, compassion overflowed my heart. No internal voice this time. Just using some simple logic. Melinda was either clearly hurting or scamming. Let's go with the benefit of the doubt. Just give her the money we were using for the prints. As she approached, she had a very kind face. You could tell by her vehicle that she's had a tough time. She apologized. She was very embarrassed or so it seemed. My wife gave her money and she was so grateful. I walked over and entered code to open the exit gate. She had her window down and I simply said, "Melinda, God bless you. We will be praying for you." That was it on that one. No super deep kumbaya prayer or Bible study on that round.

As my wife and I wrapped up, we pondered if it was a scam. Either way, it was clear she needed help. No prints. Just prayers. Shortly later, my wife gets this message...

Whoa! You may have heard me say on this podcast or countless times to my brother, sisters and kids, "Your mission field is out there." Wherever you are. Whether that is a grocery store or kid's game or party or possibly even a FB Marketplace pick up.

And I want to be very careful here. This is not meant to least not for ourselves. It is a shout out and glory to our God. Huge praise! To be very clear, back up, I was grumbling. I was not in the right mindset per se. I begrudgingly was trying to please my wife with strings attached. This was all God and giving someone the benefit of the doubt and a little bit of encouragement. What a blessing! Both ways.

Back to my plan. What if we stayed home? What if we told Melinda to buzz off? What if we easily could have just said, "Sucks to be you. No prints, no money." Deeper question, what if I dug my heels in and said we must watch church. Like the priest(s) in the Good Samaritan story (Luke 10: 25-37) that just keeps walking because they felt in a hurry and had more important places to be. We could have been justified there. Yet, we were able to help. It was a detour I will never forget. We ended up watching the 11AM service and interesting enough it was on the warning of idolatry (1 Cor 10: 1-22). So be careful with your FB Marketplace or ___________ obsessions;).

Yet, in this case, God heard Melinda's prayers. God chose my wife and a grumbling husband to give her a little lift. In fact, now seeing things clearly, my wife has already offered some additional help and connections to help Melinda get further on her feet via We'll see where this goes.

For the skeptic reading this, let's just say we were scammed. I've said this before and I'll say it again, get God involved. Think back to that road trip episode last summer where that desperate family in the middle of Nebraska asked me to fill their tank. Pray on it. Should I help this person/family? And when you do, let them know why. Do you know Jesus Christ? Well, he tells us to help and love others (Matt 22: 26-40; Matt 25:40). Leverage that benefit of doubt for guaranteed light and giving a reason of why you have Hope (1 Peter 3:15, Matt 5:16).

As for you and me, when grumbling and going somewhere you don't want to go, may this be a little humble reminder to ask God, "Lord, why am I going here and who do you want me to encourage?"


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