As I was getting ready to work at my home office this morning I noticed that my son left an English paper home, and I texted him about it. Shortly thereafter, I received a call from him noting a sense of desperation to figure out a way to at least get some credit for completing his work. From past experience, there were negative ramifications for submitting a project late, and, like most any good parent would, I had to remind him a couple times already this school year that we must all submit to the consequences of our mistakes. Today, he was 15 minutes away from learning that painful lesson yet again.
Going against my normal instincts, my mind rang with an opportunity to give the kid a break — to give him grace.
[Grace, literally meaning the favor (or even smile) of God, is that which makes up for the things that I lack in my life. God looks at me with love and joy, being one of His children! Now, there’s nothing I could do to earn the title of “child of God,” but God saw fit to open that door of fellowship through the sacrifice of the Messiah — Christ — on the cross, and He sealed the opportunity for all of mankind to have this relationship in His resurrection.]
So, today, it was my turn, in a microcosm, to live out grace toward my HS Senior. Having a touch of pity mixed with mercy (withholding what he really deserved), I filled in for his lack of ability to reach his goal by setting aside what I was doing and driving his paper to meet him on his way to class.
The exchange was quick. Almost without losing stride, he reached for the papers I gladly held out of the passenger-side window, and he continued on his way, now with the sides of his mouth curled up and a twinkle in his eye. His voice trailed as he passed, “I owe you Starbucks.” Honestly, if I kept count for the number of times I’ve heard this, he can’t afford that many trips to the coffee shop! But in reality, he doesn’t owe me a thing.
That’s grace! Love with a smile; filling in the lack of another; expecting absolutely nothing in return.