"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

21 January 2009

A Free Gift

Last evening the door rang at about 7 pm. Claire, my 10 year old, heard it as she was just coming down the stairs from her shower. I was in the basement folding laundry, Dave was packing for his trip to Ohio (work-related) and Courtney was on Facebook waiting her turn for the shower.
I went to the door as Claire is not allowed to answer it if she doesn't know who it is. She didn't recognize the neighbor boy (Andrew) standing there. He is like a man now at 15 and with a deep voice! Still tall and thin. Lives 5 houses down and across the street from us. His mom and I are friends. His older sisters used to babysit my girls. We know and like the family.

Andrew and Courtney have been friends since age 5 and they were in Kindergarten together. They used to play together all the time in the backyards, the woods, his pool. They did homework together, rode bikes, lamented over tests in grade school, stood at the bus stop together and entered junior high together. But...because they were in different halls in the junior high, they stopped hanging out together as much. They would chat walking to and from the bus but for the most part, they just started hanging with different friends. Andrew with boys, Courtney with girls. Very normal actually from about grade 4 on.

So...I invited him in. He wanted to ask Courtney a question about a global history essay that they were just handed back. They are both in the Honors Global class at the high school and Courtney had just received a 98% on her Stalin essay. All of the teens taking the class were required to write about him and they had to come up with an original thesis statement and expound on it. Apparently Andrew didn't do as well as he wanted (although with an 84% I would have been satisfied!!) so he was going to re-write it as per the teacher's approval.

So....Courtney volunteered to help him put together a thesis statement and an outline and to do so, she had to miss her coveted time of watching American Idol! I was secretly glad she decided to help him because the look on his face when she said she'd miss the show to get him started on his essay was priceless. He looked like she had just handed him the best gift ever. I didn't tell her to do this. I had gone back upstairs.
They worked away for about 45 min and he, after chatting with me for a few minutes, left to go down the street to his house and type it up. He was so thankful that Courtney had helped him with his thesis! It was really kind of cute to see my husband's reaction about why in the world, on a school nite, was a boy hanging out in his basement chatting up a storm with his daughter? I was just thankful that this young man, who to my knowledge does not have a personal relationship with God, (his family knows we are Christians and have asked questions but they are not church goers although they do label themselves as Catholic), had the opportunity to "catch up" on all the news with Courtney and feel comfortable enough to ask her for help. We want our home to be a blessing to others. He just kept saying "thank you Mrs. T---- for letting me hang out here and get this done". He really acted like we had handed him a special gift! And who knows? By Courtney acting out her Christian walk in a practical way (hospitality, helping/serving someone in need), we don't know what kinds of seeds might have been planted in his heart.

It got me to thinking about how I had just been reading yesterday morning in Romans. I was in chapter 3, verses 21-26, about being justified freely by the grace of God through the redemption of Jesus.
I also re-read verse 8 from Ephesians 2 which states: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."

It got me to thinking that sometimes, as busy Christians, we might not stop and say "thank you" to our Most Holy God for his free gift of grace. For his free gift of salvation! We can have the riches of God, at Jesus' expense (His death on the cross) for FREE!
Just like Andrew didn't have to pay for Courtney to help him...she willingly did it. (and I don't want that to sound boastful...I am glad she did and am proud of her for her willingness to do so without any prompting from me!)
We cannot buy our way into heaven.
It doesn't matter what our skin color is, what our economic status is, what our education is, nor our religion or creed or church. We can't be good enough to receive it, nor bad enough to not receive it. We get this free gift of grace by admitting our wrong/sins, by repenting, and by asking God to forgive us and allowing Christ's blood to cleanse us. It is a FREE gift.

Have you said "Thank you" for it lately??


Connie Marie said...

Yes. I have thanked Him for this gift. So free to us but what a price He paid for it.

I raised three girls and watched the very same things go on that you wrote about. It is wise to advise your daughters of how easily our hearts get involved, and sometimes with guys that are not the best for long term relationships.

Blessings Faith.

Mrs. C said...

I, too, am so very thankful for the priceless gift of my salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ! :)

e-Mom said...

We're on the same page. Yes, lately I've been thanking God for his free gift of grace. :~D

A wonderful story of young friendship!

Susanne said...

On a few levels this post convicted me today.

Homemanager said...

Thanks for sharing Faith! The Lord has blessed us so much...it really makes me cry at times at His goodness and His mercy.
It's great that Courtney was able to help Andrew.
With our two older girls in college (larger ratio of men to women), they are surrounded by young men who are not Christians. They are in teams working on projects together. It can be unnerving to us as Mom's, but the Lord has given my girls godly standards.
They (not me!) are keeping themselves at a distance. It is wonderful to know that their relationship with the Lord is strong enough to do what is right.
Again, the goodness, grace and mercy of God!

Angie said...

What a blessing---that she could bless someone else!

I really enjoyed this post! Thank you for stopping by my place!