Daily Word of Grace # 37 (May 6, 2020)
Back in the summer of 1993 when I was a twenty-four year old youth minister I tried to rent a fifteen passenger van for our summer mission trip, but was too young to do so. Our church decided to purchase a fifteen passenger van for our youth ministry (and other ministries too), and bought a beautiful new forest green van. After our mission trip I took the van to clean it. I vacuumed it out, cleaned up the interior, and then to top it off, took it through the automated car wash. I will never forget the horror I felt as I was sitting in this new, and newly cleaned, van in this car wash and heard a long, loud scraping sound. “That can’t be good” I thought. After going through the car wash I stepped out and looked…two brand new scrapes from bumper to bumper on both sides of the van. It was all I could do not to cry. I felt so awful about it. I drove it back to the church and showed our administrator, Frank (one of the truly nicest guys I have ever worked with). He slowly walked around the van as I stood there staring at the parking lot pavement, muttering, “I’m so sorry.” To my surprise and relief he started chuckling and said, “Well, now it has racing stripes, pretty cool! Don’t worry about it, Dave, it’s okay.” And he never brought it up to me again, ever (others in the church made up for that, but I digress). Jesus taught that those who have been forgiven much tend to love much (Luke 7:47). It’s true. Frank’s generous and immediate forgiveness of my “redecorating” the new church van created more love in me for him. It also reminded me of the generosity and immediacy of God’s forgiveness of all our sins (Psalm 103:3)—and still does.
Love and Prayers,