Lately, the Lord has been reminding me of his grace and mercy in many ways. Even today!
I got up this morning, rolled over in my bed, looked at the alarm clock, and thought, “I’m supposed to be somewhere. The doctor's office!!” I had made an appointment just yesterday and was grateful that I was able to get the 8 am appointment the very next day. But with the pandemic also came my lack of attention to being somewhere at a specific time, and so I neglected to set my alarm clock (I am not a morning person). I jumped out of bed, put on the first thing I saw, brushed my teeth, washed my face, and headed out of the door. My doctor is at a new location, so the drive was much longer than usual.
Now, one thing I am NOT is a late person, I pride myself on being timely. So, I was embarrassed and flustered the whole way there. But I prayed and hoped for the best. I fully expected her to say, “Sorry, I’m booked all day. You’ll have to reschedule.” But you know what my doctor said? “I know that this is your first time at this location and it has been some time since I have seen you. We are doing this appointment today.” Not only that, she looked at me, listened to me, asked me how I was doing and I could even feel the smile under her mask. I was so grateful that she was being so gracious and merciful because I really deserved a,“Come back another time!” and a big fat door slam.
Today’s event reminded me of other times when I received mercy and grace. One of those times happened when I was a young lady of 28 years.
I had just started a daycare business in my home. At the time, I was only caring for two children, my 3-year-old son, and my neighbor's 3-year-old daughter. I had dreams of expanding my business to school-aged children, but I needed a vehicle large enough to carry them back and forth to school. My husband, being the resourceful one in the relationship, anticipated the growth of my business and one day decided to go to his first auction to browse, but to my surprise came back with a white "Astro Van"!! The way in which my husband came about purchasing this van is a GOD story for another time, but when I say it was only God, believe me.
One day, not long after he brought the van home, I went out to a music store to buy a tambourine for my daycare kids. It was a long way to travel, but it wasn't like I could search for a closer place using my phone and google (this was 18 years ago). I remember being flustered and on a time crunch (I don't remember why). I put my son in the backseat and headed out. When we got there, I rolled into the parking lot and as I was trying to park the van, I hit and scuffed a car that was in the next spot. I was horrified. I started crying right then and there. My son said, in his little voice, "It's okay, mommy" and that just made me cry harder.
The owner of the car came out of the store. She looked at the damage. Of course, there was not a scratch on my van, but her car door was scuffed up pretty badly. She looked at me with compassion as I apologized over and over. I could tell she was a little upset, and rightfully so, but she didn't yell or scream at me as I felt I deserved. Instead, she turned her attention to my son and said, "Hey little guy! What's your name? How old are you?" This helped me to calm down and smile as they chatted for a bit. She took down my information as I tried to keep my composure. I sat in the car for a bit and then I went inside of the music store to get what I had come all that way for. I thought, "This tambourine was not worth all the trouble!” I drove straight home with my heart racing and full of regret. "Why didn't I take my time?! Why was I in such a hurry?"
Anxiety kicked in as I thought about telling my husband that I had just hit somebody with the van we had just purchased. I knew that he would not be angry (he is level-headed and forgiving) but I felt that he would be disappointed in me. I calmed down and managed to get on with the rest of my day. When I told my husband what had happened, he just said, "Accidents happen." I was grateful for his understanding.
I was even more grateful a few days later. I received a letter in the mail. There was no return address. It was in a small envelope and written on a small thin piece of paper. Here’s what was written on it:
I just wanted you to know that I will not be getting my car repainted now. I don’t want to turn anything into an insurance company and I don’t want to ask you for any money. I’ll get my car painted sometime in the future if I decide it is necessary. Just one request- keep your little guy interested in music. I have two high school kids in the band program and it is the best thing in the world! Sincerely,...
She was merciful to me. I was responsible for the damage to her car, but she did not charge me for it. Not only that, she took time out of her day, sat down and wrote me a letter, and even shared advice with me about taking care of my son’s interest in music! Now that is some grace!!
I never got to thank this woman because I didn’t have her number or her address (at the time, she just took my information and I don’t think I was thinking clearly enough to retrieve hers). But I thanked God. And the many days since it happened, I've thanked God. I am reminded of this single day whenever someone makes a mistake that inconveniences me or when someone needs encouragement and I am available to give it.
Mercy and grace are what God has given to us freely through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. All we are required to do is receive it! It reminds me of a song by Cece Winans called, "Mercy Said No." The first verse and chorus are as follows:
I was just a child when I felt the Savior leading I was drawn to what I could not understand And for the cause of Christ, I have spent my days believing That what He'd have me be, who I am
As I've come to see the weaker side of me I realize His grace is what I'll need When sin demanded justice for my soul
Mercy said no I'm not going to let you go I'm not going to let you slip away You don't have to be afraid Mercy said no Sin will never take control Life and death stood face to face Darkness tried to steal my heart away Thank You Jesus, Mercy said no
Yes, Cece! Thank you, Jesus, for your mercy and grace!
Just as God has shown mercy and grace toward us, so should we show that same mercy and grace towards others. Ephesians 4:32 says, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you." That forgiveness you show, it's mercy. And that kindness you extend, that's grace.
If you enjoyed this post, share it in your circle or on your social media platform.
If you've read and enjoyed my book, Kill the Busy Save the Bee, be sure to share this link with friends as well!