Somewhere around five years ago, James and I set our minds on buying a leather couch. I had a little bitty budget that I wanted to spend and unrealistic expectations on what I could get. Routinely, I scanned Craigslist and was discovering that I had set the bar a little too high. Perhaps, our old couch would have to do for a while longer.
And then it happened, like the ad was shining and glittery and playing angelic music, I found it. The couch. It was exactly what I wanted for exactly my budget. It had to be a typo or a scam, it was a little too good to be true. But I am a sucker for these kind of things, so I gave the number a call.
Nope, it hadn’t sold yet. Yep, he was available that afternoon. So, a few hours later, I loaded up toddler Madison and dragged along husband James (poor guy with a logical brain that falls in love with a dreamer like me.)
On the short drive, Madison fell asleep, so we were the kind of dorks that do things like this: James “went in” first to scope out the safety situation and returned to watch the baby. Next, I knocked on the door to give the fashion approval. James would return to break the deal. That is pretty much how we operate.
Well, approximately two minutes later, I return to the car decorated in a huge silly grin, “I bought it.”
“Huh?” I had overstepped boundaries, James is the final deal maker.
So I explained the situation: the couch was perfect. In fact, it was a practically brand new $1,500 couch and the guy was asking $400. Yes, I was going to buy it. I was already thrilled about the situation. But just because I am American and good enough is never good enough, I just have to ask, “Will you take anything less?” And I waited for the guy to tell me to leave for being rude, insulting, and ungrateful of a good deal when I see one.
But he pauses and smiles at me like I am his daughter that he can’t tell no, “Sure, I’ll take $300.” If I had the strength, I would have grabbed the couch and ran at that point, but the man is not done yet, “No…” And damnit, I should have grabbed the thing and ran while I could, sure he was changing his mind, but he continues, “No…I’ll take $250.” (!!!)
At that point, I felt a little obligated to explain Math to him, “Dude, you just dealt in the wrong direction.”
I smiled, offered my many thanks and walked away with the furniture I wanted and a little extra cash.
I love the story, but I am just like that man, almost every single day. There is something that comes with proclaiming the truth, people want to debate. But it goes a little like this with me:
Person: You call yourself a Christian? Well, You are a sinner! Me: oh yes! The very worst!
Person: Well, Jesus said to give all your stuff to the poor! Me: I know. I should do that. I really suck!
Person: Yeah? Well, the church is a bunch of hypocrites! Me: oh, much worse! They are liars, cheats, murderers….much worse than hypocrites!
Person: I am my own god. Nobody tells me what to do. Me: I suck as a god! Glad you have it all figured out because I am really screwed up!
Ya see, being a Christian is not about winning the debate or having a clean house or a new car or well behaved children or going to a Wednesday morning Bible study. It looks more like the outcast guy scraping the bloody man up off the pavement and taking him to the hospital, it looks more like the Mommy sitting with her eight year old for the tenth time in one day and apologizing that Mommy is a sinner, it is more like the woman dragged into the streets and having her tongue cut out by her brother because she rejected the family faith and gave her life to Jesus.
So, in this debate, before you even say it, I confess I AM WRONG but the only hope is JESUS IS RIGHT.