Just Show the Card

I don’t know anyone with a personality like Cassie—or that’s what I’ll call her here. 

She’s honest as a daisy, winsome, direct—and highly persuasive. Cass could convince a rock musician to take up the harp, I think.

 My friend has developed a unique skill, for a woman—renovating her house. Out of necessity, she says. Her ADD husband, she jokes, is in love with knocking things down. He also loves starting things. Finishing them? Not so much.

 The pair have come to an arrangement. He starts, leaves on a road trip, and she finishes. In one of his recent absences, she finished installing the hardwood floor in their bedroom.

 I don’t know of a tool Cass won’t try. She’s as handy with a chop saw as my Chinese friends are with chopsticks.

 Cassie prefers to shop for her own building supplies. She’s as at home in a building supply store as most women are in a flower store. But she’s also thrifty.

 While budgeting for a recent reno, Cassie told me that she walked into a local building supply company and asked to speak with the manager.

 “I’m renovating my whole house,” she told him, explaining exactly what her plans were. “I’d really like to buy local, if possible. What kind of discount would you give me if I bought all my supplies through you?”

 She detailed the kind of supplies she’d need.

 To her surprise, the manager offered a great quote. She told me later what came next. “But then…” she said, her dark eyes flashing, “then he asked for the entire payment, for the whole house! Right then.”

 Cassie told the manager she couldn’t do that. “I’m sorry,” she said, “I simply don’t have that much money right now.” 

 The manager thought a moment, then said, “Well, just deal with me when you come in.”

 “Okay, great!” she said. “But what if you’re not here?” She wasn’t going to let that discount evade her. 

 The manager pulled out a business card, wrote something on the back, signed it and handed it to her.

 Cassie turned it over. The note entitled her to a contractor’s discount on all her building material—for the duration of her home renos.

 “Boy, I’ve hung onto that card,” she told me.

 Cassie’s house is almost done now. The manager’s signature on that card has saved her and her husband thousands of dollars. All because she had the nerve to ask.

 I love Cassie’s example. It reminds me of some of Jesus’ teachings about prayer. Pray for the right things—genuine needs for ourselves and others; with the right attitudes—boldness and expectation; for the right reasons—that his will be done, and his kingdom built up on earth and heaven.

 When we do that, we can trust that he’s already signed the card, and will give us a heavenly deal.