The nature of generous support
While at work today I learned a lesson about generosity.
It’s not uncommon that I learn lessons while working at the da panty sto’. Some of them are inspirational; just as many are cautionary tales.
This one was a bit of both for me.
Men of the Sparky Nation, I apologize for the very feminine topic of this story and invite you to substitute “wader boots” or “duck calls” in the necessary places. You’ll probably totally lose the more serious point of the story, but don’t say I didn’t attempt to accommodate you.
Two women came into the store, a middle-aged one and one fairly young. The older asked that the younger one be fitted for a new bra because she was in her second trimester of pregnancy and only had one, and it fit poorly. The two women were relatives and the older wished to support the younger by seeing that she got some comfortable, well-made bras. Very sweet, and a wise thing to offer.
I fitted the young woman and we found several styles that worked beautifully for her. The first one she tried on was on sale. It fit nicely, but it wasn’t very pretty. She tried on a few more before she hit the jackpot. One of the most supportive bras in the store not only fit her beautifully, but it was very pretty, looked fabulous under her clothing, and even had the tiniest bit of extra room in all the right places to accommodate her expanding figure—but not so much as to make the bra fit poorly.
She fell in love. Understandably so.
The problem was that the older woman struggled with wanting to control what the younger woman chose. Because the first bra was on sale, she could afford to buy two of those. And in her mind, two suitable, functional bras were better than one awesome wow bra. And since she held the purse strings…
The younger woman was appreciative and quickly bowed to the older woman’s wishes. But she had clearly stated which bra she preferred. She was settling, and I could see the wistfulness in her eyes as she handed me back her first choice and instead chose a second sale bra.
It isn’t my intent or my heart to judge the older woman’s actions. I fully understand having a budget, even in the midst of being generous towards someone. And perhaps it would have been helpful to the younger woman if the older one has simply been up front about how much they could spend in the store. Nevertheless, the older woman’s generosity was an act of kindness and support, and I suspect the younger woman wasn’t getting a lot of support on any front, let alone her wardrobe needs.
The good news is that in the end I was able to work it out that she could have all three bras without overspending the older woman’s budget. And I’m glad I had some tricks up my sleeve to help in that manner. She needed those bras.
But I also had a personal take-away, a bit of on-the-spot Holy Spirit instruction. I was reminded that when I’m generous on my terms, I run the risk of short-changing the person to whom I wish to show generosity. And when I plan to be generous, I should do all I can to prepare to bestow outrageous generosity. If I can’t be outrageous, I should at least be clear about what I can offer, and then offer it with open hands and a willing heart that doesn’t judge how that generosity is received or used.
If you have no idea what in the world I’m really talking about because you got distracted reading this story subbing “duck calls” for “bras”, well…I guess I set myself up for that, eh?