This past weekend had been full of surprises. Honey was off Saturday due to the rain. The tropical storm that hit the coast around the Carolinas finally made it up this way Friday and had pretty much knocked me to my knees. I had very little desire to go anywhere, and when Honey asked me to run down to town with him Saturday, I was less than excited. The natural vibration of a vehicle can play havoc on over-stimulated nerves. But, since we are able to spend such little time together, I said ok. He had been talking for several days about going to a gun show this weekend, and since I had been wanting to visit the local farmers' market all summer, I made a deal with him.
The farmers' market was fun. We enjoyed looking at the diverse products that the local farmers had to offer. One farm had such a huge variety of produce that I actually felt garden envy. Several dairy farms have branched out to include cheeses. There were booths with home-spun yarn from sheep's wool & alpaca hair, honey & bees wax candles, beautiful tables created from some of the prettiest wood I'd ever seen, and there was a local band playing quietly in the center of the hub to give a 'folksy' atmosphere. It's very hard to describe, but from the outside looking in ~ everything looked so peaceful and happy; but the mood of the people was almost as if they were pretending to fit this image. Does this make sense to anyone but me? The friendliness of the majority of the people there seemed to be very superficial and fake. I still enjoyed looking at all the wonderful products of the harvest; but I came away not feeling like I had stopped at a community event; I felt like I had just shopped at Walmart or a big box store.
After the market, it was Honey's turn to go shopping. The gun show was held in the middle of White River Jct.. The town is old and has seen it's heyday come and go. I thought it was ironic that they would hold a gun show in an area of town where you would more likely been held up in the parking lot on the way to the show than anywhere else. But then, with all that fire-power around, it probably wouldn't be the wisest thing for a thief to do. I have never been to a gun show before. I had hear about them; and I am familiar with the whole buying, selling, horse-trading concept; so I was a little intrigued with the idea. The big room was full of tables/booths loaded down with guns, knives, holsters, literature ... you name it. Someone was even selling used books about the old west and the history of guns. Being raised with two brothers by a father who was a gun/knife enthusiast, I had learned to appreciate the value of a good gun/knife. I recognized brands that I had seen and/or heard of in my youth, so I was comfortable in the testosterone-rich environment. Honey looked like he had died and gone to man-heaven. After we walked in the door and he looked around, I don't think he even knew I was in the room. That must be the look I give when I go to a garden center or an art supply store. As I looked around, I found this big booth in the middle of the room that on one end had something that I could get excited about. Along with the guns and such, there was a display of cookbooks. This intrigued me. Cookbooks at a gun show? I had to investigate this further. The table had a variety of cookbooks that focused entirely on cooking from scratch and using your own canned/dehydrated food storage ~ homestead style. I had been looking for this type of instruction for quite a while. The lady who manned that section of the booth introduced herself as Jan and we got to chatting about gardens, canning, and basic cooking. In the course of conversation, I found out that she is a Christian. She went on to explain that everyone working that booth was a Christian and that going to gun shows was the ministry they felt God called them to. Now that got my attention! She went on to tell me about how she accepted the Lord and how she & her husband felt led to move from the city to their country home. They own a gun store and noticed that there didn't seem to be anyone reaching the community of gun enthusiast. Their church agreed and became a part of the ministry. As me met several of the church members there, we found that they are all eager to share their love of Jesus, and pass out, free music CD's that the church created. Overall, it was a tremendous time of fellowship for Honey and I! We came away with our spiritual batteries recharged and feeling blessed!
The day was full of surprises and contrasts. The place that I felt would give me the most satisfaction left me empty and wanting. The place where I thought would be cold and impersonal left me feeling fed and satisfied.
The Lord truly works in mysterious ways.
May the Lord bless you.