Monday, November 17, 2014

Day 323: Help

Saturday morning I accepted help that I didn't necessary need and it has been in my mind ever since.  2/3 of my boys were gone with their dad for the morning and so the youngest and I bundled up for a brisk walk in the cold.  We found ourselves at the local second hand store where I like to sometimes just browse the goods because I'm old and boring like that.

In the  midst of many unwanted and outdated items, I found one thing that I was pretty excited to show up at home with - an electric ice cream maker.  Since it was below the $5 limit for a debit card I hunted around for exactly $1.50 worth of treasures and then stood in line. 

It was a long line.  I guess a Saturday in November in a small town leaves little options for those of us who want to be out and about.  We all penciled "bargain shopping" on our morning agenda.

After waiting a good 10 minutes I was told that the debit card machine didn't work. 

At most I felt a little inconvenienced, but it really wasn't a big deal.  I wouldn't die if I didn't have an ice cream maker and the other things were just bonus.  I searched around in my wallet for 30 cents to pay for the little wrapping bow in my pile (the one thing I actually needed) while the woman behind the counter tried desperately to void the sale. 

Suddenly a hand reached across the cash register holding $6.  The woman behind me had heard everything and had just fished the money out of her purse for no reason other than to show kindness. 

I tried to refuse her gesture, but she insisted with such joy that I stopped.  I was more in shock than anything.  Over the last year there were times when $6 from a stranger would have sent me into tears of complete gratefulness.  There were times when a simple gesture like that would have changed the course of my week. 

But on Saturday it was unnecessary - but kind, and touching, and so thoughtful. 

So I let her give.  Part of me toiled with this American Midwest culture where we accept no help.  When offered a drink of water, we "pass" because we don't want to inconvenience anyone.  All my life I've watched adults refuse help because of not wanting to trouble their neighbor.  After being an adult on the other end of that - the one sometimes offering help; and after living in a country that always accepts that help - I'm starting to realize that sometimes the problem isn't the giver, but the receiver. 

Why can't we just be grateful and accepting of the offer we've been given?  Doesn't it make us feel good and wanted to be able to give something to another person that we've offered them? 

So with only a tiny bit of reluctance I let her help me.  I thanked her over and over again.  I thought all day about her kind gesture and how I can pass it on.  Maybe an ice cream party for my neighbors with my new ice cream maker?

Sometimes accepting a gift is more important than giving it.

Today I am thankful for that reminder.


Julie L. said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Oh, Tiffany, I have witnessed such kindness many times over the years I have volunteered at this wonderful thrift store. Once, I was fortunate to see two kind gestures in one day, and it made my heart sing. I am glad that you accepted this kindness, and I know without a doubt that you will share the blessing. Julie