If you have a Coach story that you would like to share (Why you like Coach, when you got your first one or how you spilled coffee on it – Mom) please email at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will include them in “Coach Stories”
This is a Coach story as told to me by my childhood best friend when she was here for a visit a few weeks ago. I thought I would start with one other than my own…
She was sitting in chair in my living room when she grabbed he purse to get out her phone. I had not really looked at her purse up to that point of the weekend, which is surprising in itself. After I saw it I grabbed Sonya’s purse out of her hands; a metallic silver, mini bowling bag style Coach. I had never seen one like it. I guess that is what happens when you live twenty miles from a mall and you go about twice a year. It was beautiful. The metallic look was completely classy, not a shiny lame (the accent is missing, should be pronounced lam-ay), I was wiping the saliva away from my mouth with the pyjamas I was still laying around the house in.
“This is nothing.” She said, “You should see the one my sister-in-law had.”
“Yeah, it was a gift from my brother. It was like mine only gold and HUGE, it was about four hundred dollars.”
“Wow.” I mumbled, trying to imagine Joel buying a four hundred dollar purse for me and then remembering that Sonya’s brother handles his money VERY carefully and Godly. Affording a four hundred dollar gift in the form of a purse is a sign of some of the blessings in his life.
She began again, “She loved that purse. A couple of weeks ago at church before it started she was in the nursery line and a man came up to her and asked her what kind of purse it was, “It’s a Coach” she said.
“If you don’t mind me asking, was it expensive? My wife would LOVE a purse like that.”
“It was a birthday gift from my husband” she said, humbly adding that it not inexpensive. The man’s face fell. And it was clear that was a gift he could not afford for his wife. The man left and Carrie remained in line for the nursery and that is when it started.”
She told me the Holy Spirit said to her, “Give the man’s wife your purse.”
“No way!” Amy said back to Him in her heart.
“I want you to give that lady your purse.”
“This is a gift from my husband. I do not want to give my purse away.”
“I want you to give that lady your purse.”
“What will I do with all of my stuff?”
“Put it in your diaper bag.”
“Well you just have an answer for everything don’t you? “ Amy thought. “ How will I find her?”
Now, Ang. You know how big my church is. It seats ten thousand people. Carrie goes to sit down and when it’s time to great those around you she turns around and sitting behind her is the man and his wife! She knew she had to obey. When the service was dismissed she turned around with tears in her eyes and said, “God wants me to give you this.” And she handed the lady, a complete stranger her metallic gold, a birthday present from her husband, huge Coach purse. Both of them began to cry; the lady out of shocked happiness and Carrie out of the earthly pain that can occur when we choose to live on the edge and obey God.
“What is your name?” the lady inquired but Amy and turned and sprinted away because she was crying so hard. Giving her purse away was NOT an easy thing to do.
“What did her husband say?” I practically screamed. I mean can you imagine getting a decadent gift like that and then having to give it away?
“What could he say? GOD had told her to do it. He was not mad.”
“Is there a happy ending to this story?” For Amy, I mean?
“Nope.” Sonya said, but there will be in heaven.
I wanted to share this story with you so I could share this with you: As Christian women we need to remember; it is the condition of our heart that God is concerned with not the tag on our purse. Sometimes I watch Christian women struggle with who they are out of a misunderstanding of how God made them. (God made women! He knew we would enjoy shiny, pretty things!)
Ours in not an eastern religion of minimalism ours is a relationship with our Heavenly Father and as a father he is concerned about the condition of our soul not the items in our closets or the cars parked in our driveway. It is important to remember this because it is easy to develop a judgmental spirit about what our Christian friends and family do with their money. It is a legalistic, slippery slope and its conclusion is a scary one.
Amy is not a overly materialistic person. The purse was a gift from her husband. Its price tag does not make it a sin. (Especially knowing the stewardship he husband displays with his money).
What makes our possessions a sin is when they possess us. I don’t believe that for Amy to have a beautiful, expressive purse was wrong. Had her husband charged in on a credit card not being able to afford it, had she bought it to it show off as a status symbol or had she not trusted God, that would have been wrong.
We are told, “Thou shalt not covet.” God does not say, “It is a bad thing to want or have something pretty and new.” Coveting is wanting what other people have. We are however told to be happy in all circumstances. That means when we can afford pretty new things and when we can not.
I say this to encourage others and myself because sometimes I struggle with being insecure, feeling judged by some of my more “Real Simple” friends and family. I laughed when that magazine “Real Simple” came out. That is so not me. I enjoy “stuff.” I have an antique Shakespeare book collection, a chandelier collection, I love fun garage sale find or a new pair of earrings from Target or even Nordstrom on the rare occasion that budget allows.
Again, if we are ignoring commandments like taking care of the widows and orphans or if I covet Sonya’s new shiny silver Coach purse than I am sinning. But as we left the house that day to run errands I was happy for my friend and her new purse, just as happy was I to grab my fun new bag from Target. It is not right for us to torture ourselves when it comes to making a new purchase or when receiving a gift. We could ALWAYS buy something cheaper or less expensive.
Our Father wants to be our priority. He wants us to trust Him; with our hearts, even with our purses. I can only hope that someday when I am called to give up a material possession that I enjoy I can be as obedient, faithful and trusting as Amy was in our Heavenly Father.