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Topic: Endurance (03/22/04)
TITLE: Bayberry's Gift Shoppe
By Lynne Cox
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Why I was standing in front of the mirror putting on makeup on such a lousy day was a mystery to me. I felt ugly and angry. Wes had already left, in the hopes that he could help the auctioneer, so I was driving to our store by myself. The pain of our loss made me not want to go. I felt like digging in my heels and staying home and crying.
But I took a deep breath and girded my loins and drove down the road. Our little gift shop, once so elegant, now full of cardboard boxes holding our inventory, was about to be auctioned off. We had tried hard for over three years, but what with the ever-rising rent and cost of the beauties we bought, we couldn’t make it work. My heart was broken.
“Twenty seven glass shelves in perfect condition!” the auctioneer called out. I remembered the sunny day I drove across the county line and bought those shelves. There was such joy and hope in my heart that day!
“Nineteen pieces of Fenton glassware!” Gorgeous vases with scalloped edges, delicate lamps – we had been sure they would sell but we sold very few of them. I held back tears as the lot went for about a quarter of its value.
“Fifteen dolls, all signed and numbered!” Lots of people wanted them, so the auctioneer broke up the bundle and sold them one by one. It was horrible to see beautiful Betsy, who had a music box inside her tummy that played “You Are my Sunshine”, go to a little girl who would get her dirty. And Hyacinth, the fairy doll with lavender wings, went to a man who looked like a farmer. Who knew where she would wind up. I could hardly breathe.
Snapshots of the good times flitted behind my eyes. The thrill of Mother’s Day, when so many came to our store for their cards and gifts. Christmas! A thousand dollars in a day! And the days I spent rearranging the card racks, with the sun from the big window on my back, thanking the Lord for this beautiful place!
Anger at God choked me. I had taken all I could. I had to leave. I got into the car and started to scream hysterically – “Oh God why why why?”
And He said to me in a voice that sounded like Daddy’s voice when I was a bad little girl and he meant business,
“Stop it! Get ahold of yourself!”
I was so shocked that I did stop it. And got ahold of myself. I couldn’t blame it on the Lord. He wasn’t going to come down from Heaven and make the landlord stop raising our rent, nor was He going to make the vendors we ordered from give us a better deal. What happened, happened.
I grew in the wisdom of the Lord.