And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12
I participated in a local craft show last week, an event that I look forward to each year. Organized by some local young moms who somehow manage to raise kids, home school and find outlets for their own creativity, Made Here celebrates local artists, including painters, jewelry artists, seamstresses, quilters, craftsmen (and women), cooks and writers like me. The work is all beautifully done, and I could spend every penny I make on clever items for myself. I’ve been a part of Made Here three or four years and generally sell a lot of books. I enjoy talking to people about them. I signed up as soon as I received the announcement about this year’s dates. I specifically asked to be inside, but when I arrived at the venue, I was disappointment to find that I was assigned a table outside on the screen porch. Not only was the heat and humidity bad for paper products, but it was bad for someone with MS. I try very hard to avoid being in the heat, and Glen was shocked that I was prepared to spend my day outside in summerlike Florida weather. Even though the rest of the world was experiencing Fall, our temps were still in the 90s. There are times when believing in God’s providence is beneficial and this was one of those times. I kept taking deep breaths so I would not get upset and telling myself that He placed me in that spot for a reason. Next to me was a woman dressed in bright yellow selling beautiful beaded jewelry. We chatted briefly, then, I got to work hawking books. In a lull, I heard her tell a friend that the heat was not good for her MS. What? God placed me next to someone with MS? What were the odds? It was a small show with less than thirty vendors and we were spread out throughout the venue. I couldn’t wait to ask her about the comment. We spent the rest of the day, when not dealing with customers, comparing symptoms, medicine and methods that help us cope. We encouraged each other, too. When she told me that she can’t do shows anymore due to the stress that it causes, I suggested that she consider placing some of her work in gift shops. Even if she has to pay a sales commission, it is better than keeping it in a bin in her closet. I also encouraged her to keep a few pieces that she really likes for her own personal use. She noted that I needed to reduce some stress in my own life, set boundaries and take care of myself. Things I already knew, but they sounded fresh and possible coming from her. We both left the show with something far more important than money in our pocket although we both did well in sales. We left knowing that we made a new friend, someone who understands what the other is going through.