Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Easy As One Two Three (Dollars)

I guess I started sitting by Shirley during Wednesday night Bible study about six months ago. I didn't really know her much until then. On Sundays, she worships with another congregation although her daughter is here with us. Her adult child, Brenda, is wheel chair bound and deaf but remarkably independent. The first interaction I had with Shirley was several years ago. I had given a report on my summer trip to Vietnam to that same Wednesday night class. She came up with tears in her eyes and pressed some money in my hand. Shirley told me her dear husband had been killed in Vietnam and that the pictures of the kids really got to her. The same scene was recreated last September when I gave the report on my most recent mission. One Wednesday evening, I sat next to Shirley and she started saving me a seat. She even sent me a picture of my empty chair last month when I was in Can Tho! Shirley reads my blog now and often comments on it. She is just a remarkable lady. That brings me up to last Wednesday night. 

There is a brother in our church who makes and sells a cheese spread that is very popular with our members. Two weeks ago, he brought Shirley her order after the final amen. Unfortunately, she was three dollars short and asked Asher to take an IOU until next week, which he was more than willing to do. But, I was sitting there and had my wallet so I passed three dollars to Shirley to finish the transaction. I guess she told me would repay me at the next Bible study but I really can't remember. As I sat down this past Wednesday, Shirley handed me the three dollars plus an extra quarter 'for interest' wrapped in plastic. By my unscientific calculations, that's 8.33% interest.I wish I could get that on my savings account at Chase Bank!

Let me tell what I find fascinating about the three dollar incident. Shirley had to tell me what the money was for. Until she brought it to my memory, I had zero recollection and I doubt I would have ever recalled it. I had totally forgotten it and had to be reminded. Good thing Shirley is so honest although I probably could have gotten by without the reimbursement! As I've thought about it, it seems to me that is how the Lord is with our sin. There are a number of scriptures in both the Old and New Testament which bear witness to this, that He forgets our iniquities. I struggle with this concept even though I believe it because I don't forget easily when I perceive others have done me wrong. How could our Almighty Father? Look, I'm not trying to be deep or scholarly here but I found it refreshing that I easily forgot Shirley's monetary debt to me. Maybe that is how God deals with my transgressions. We, or at least me, try to make it up to God even though we say He has forgotten the sinful things we have done. I liken it to my mouthwash, better known as Crest-Pro Health! How about this conflicting advice on the label:

24 Hour Protection!

   *very next line*
USE 2x/Day

I call that the just in case directions. You know, it works one whole day but just to be safe, gargle twice! If I believe God, why does my guilt make me try to make sure and work extra hard so I can be confident He really has forgotten? I have no trouble remembering those I owe money to and I am paranoid about removing the debt as soon as possible. But I tend to forget the fiscal debts others have yet to make right with me. Maybe there is hope for me yet and maybe a bit of the Father in me after all! What a blessing to serve a merciful Father who has compassion on His children! I need that mercy!

Applicable quote of the day:
“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
C.S. Lewis

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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