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…
where pride meets need
(These are some archive words brought here from my old site…)
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.