where pride meets need
(These are some archive words brought here from my old site…)
Had a humbling experience about thirty minutes ago. I was in the Dollar Tree – not necessarily because we need to shop at dollar stores, more that we LIKE to shop at dollar stores – and I was picking out a few things for E and myself for an after lunch snack as well as some office items for the nonprofit. Anyhoo…
I got up to the register and my card wouldn’t scan. This was not news, this happened most places I went, especially this Dollar Tree. Every time, I’d say I needed to a new card because the current one had been abused…but I still haven’t.
Here comes the humble. So the card refused to go through. The cashier tried to type it in, but since its a MasterCard, you can’t use it as credit there or something…I don’t know. All I do know it that I had to walk away from that $6 worth of stuff as if I couldn’t afford it with probably at least 5 people watching me go.
On top of that, the cashier pulled out her own debit card to cover my cost, telling me I could just pay her back next time I come in. You see, they recognize us there. With 7 kids who eat a lot, we go there often. However, I politely refused her offer. My pride wasn’t gonna let someone pay for a measly $6 worth of stuff.
I walked out of the store with E in tow. He was upset. He didn’t know why we weren’t getting his orange Hawaiian Punch and ice cream. He was on the verge of tears as if I changed my mind and decided not to buy anything. The situation was expounding.
As I opened the van door for E and he got in, a man called out, “Excuse me!”
I turned around to see a well-dressed man exit the Dollar Tree with my bag. “You forgot this.”
I put up my hand and shook my head. “No, I couldn’t-”
“You forgot this,” he insisted.
I was speechless for a second or two. I managed to thank him, but not a real handshake thank you like he deserved. And he just simply handed me the bag and walked back towards the store.
I called April later and told her that I felt about an inch tall at that moment. I felt so helpless and, to be honest, pathetic. However, she shed some interesting light on the matter.
We help people as often as we can with A Couple Bucks & a Bible. We hand out cash and Bibles to people who, too, may suddenly feel begrudgingly humbled when we walk up. April suggested that I just got a taste of that. Where pride meets need.
At that moment, I was the one in need. The man was the servant of God – whether he knew he was doing God’s work or not. I needed the cash, and more importantly, I needed to be reminded that I am no better than the ones our nonprofit tries to help.