Yesterday I was a vendor at the Beechview “Holiday Boutique” Craft Show. My brother Charlie’s girlfriend’s mom was putting it on and I figured I’d do it to do it. I have some left over crafts from the St. Bonnie’s craft show and thought it would be nice to try to sell a few more things and see people.
The event was small but very nice – and community people came out though not many – and those who came mainly came to see Santa and have a free cookie. It was a great community event!
I enjoyed the day – my parents brought Nora to hang out, Nora came to see me and do her best to avoid Santa, Charlie was there for a while, Charlie’s girlfriend Renee was selling he knitted crafts, and Bridgette came for a bit too. I saw old neighbors and we chatted and they were kind enough to buy a few photographs. I met the secretary at St. Catherine’s who works with Bridgette and we talked. A nice vendor rooted thru her bins until she found a pink wooden car for Nora and gave it to her for free. It was a nice time with really nice people.
I am blessed – to have such a great family, to have such an opportunity, and to be in a position where sales didn’t matter. Because sales were… slow. To give you a sense of what sales were like — a lady who says she collects crosses and told me she has a wall full of crosses didn’t actually buy any crosses. But I honestly didn’t care. I didn’t come really to sell but rather to be there and encounter the moments God had me encounter.
In the moment I thanked God for letting me see what I have in my life that I can and should appreciate – family, community opportunities, and also a full-time job. Because as I looked around the room and listened to other conversations it was hard to know for me the day was fun, but for other people the day really mattered – like “Do I need to pick up that weekend job I was just offered until mid-January?” mattered.
So what had been feeling like annoying sales tactics by other vendors of “Have you ever heard of XYZ?” and enthusiastically explaining all the great things about what they were selling – well, it started to be less annoying. Because they had no choice but to try to really get people interested in what they had to offer.
I didn’t think of it in the moment, only later on during reflection — but I totally should have been selling my offerings as “Have you ever heard about Jesus?” I even had the perfect opportunity. A lady came over right after the “Have you ever heard about XYZ?” Table #1 and asked me “What is this?” as she looked at my stuff. And I didn’t have an answer. I said “…uh… photographs… crosses… other crosses… religious paintings… coloring books.” I had been used to just saying “Hi. How are you?” and letting people walk by if they wanted. I didn’t need a sales pitch.
I mean, perhaps I am just bad at sales (I am). But I had just spent hours listening to everyone else’s practiced sales pitches and hadn’t bothered to come up with something compelling about what I had to offer.
But I should have – because what I had to offer was the best thing – Jesus! I also appreciated that what I had to offer was Jesus. Because if I’m going to be “selling” anything I want it to be the Lord. I’d love to enthusiastically explain all the great things about Jesus. I mean, I didn’t really do that — I let people look and engaged with them if they seem like it wouldn’t bother them. (Again, I’m not a great sales person.) But it was nice when people commented on how nice my things were or on how the world needs more prayer or on how she’s been trying to get her 8 year old son to allow her to put a cross back in his room or how she works with Bridgette but not nearly enough or how the painting of “PEACE” is nice and what she really needs right now… etc etc (that’s from different people; not just one person).
I had nice conversations with people throughout the day and perhaps brought a little more Jesus into their lives just by letting them talk about Jesus or a struggle they are having or just by smiling at them. And I’m not a particularly good conversationalist so I can’t claim my side of the conversation was any good. But it was nice to have lots of nice moments mainly centered around God.
God has given me a blessed life. It’s so blessed that I could spend 6 hours on a Saturday in a church basement with a handful of people and not worry about anything. And it’s so blessed that I could spend some time just writing up this long-winded reflection which perhaps doesn’t contain anything of value but also not worry about whether it is a great reflection or not — because I just got to share a moment of Jesus and that’s what really matters.