“Do you want help?” She asked as I struggled to pull the table off of the carpet and onto the tiles so I could slide it to its destination.
“Oh, no my dear, I can call one of the other girls. Thank you though.”
I responded quickly, partially because she began walking back towards me and if I was seen letting a customer help me, I might get spoken to about our liability if she got hurt, since the combination chrome and glass table was nearly 100lbs. Three layers of 1 inch thick glass on a chrome frame. But also because I was a little surprised that someone would even offer to help me. Usually I am the one being asked to help by both associates and customers, but it was extremely rare that a customer would be kind enough to ask me if I was in need to help.
It was refreshing, but also terrifying. What if she was trying to get hurt? What if she was looking for a lawsuit? Maybe she was just asking hoping I would say no, and just trying to be nice? It isn’t often that a customer is nice. Usually they’re needy. Annoying. Rude. Selfish and degrading. This was pleasant. A refreshing difference. But one I couldn’t help but be suspicious about.
It’s no wonder some people are so untrusting. Even kindness feels too kind. Too authentic for the average person. You genuinely want to be nice and people are afraid of it. People genuinely want to be nice to you and you become afraid of them. Suspicious thrives when there is sincerity, because who is sincere anymore.
I think that’s what I want to do with my life. Be sincere. More sincere. To stop myself from hiding the fact that I desire to be a nice person, and the. Actually be the nice person I try to hide so frequently. I do that mostly because my mother tends to yell at me when I want to help people. Asking me to think harder, and trying to convince me all the ways I could be used. I was always confused by that though, because as a Christian I am called to help. To “let my yes be yes and no be no,” and to “give my coat” without hesitation. If I am not “used” then how am I useful?
Of course I do not wish to be used and abused, but that comes with discernment. Setting the boundaries. Telling people no and keeping it at no when they pester you. Knowing your limits. I tend to know mine fairly well. I know my standards. I keep them. But that does not mean I cannot help when it is within my capacity.