(Ephesians 2:4-5 )
I grew up in the Bronx and walking the streets, taking public transportation and putting coins into parking meters was second nature.
This weekend I visited my sister in Union City, NJ and we decided to go shopping. We parked in a public parking garage that demanded quarters to be fed to the parking meter to grant us the privilege of leaving the car parked.
It’s been a long time since I’ve had to pay to park!
After an hour and half we returned. The parking garage is now full. The parking attendant is walking up and down the parking lanes to see who she can issue a summons to.
We still had 30 minutes on our meter but did not need the extra time.
I noticed to my left that the meter had expired. They could not have been there to long because when I parked the lot was empty. As the attendant drew closer to the vehicle I can tell she noticed the meter had ran out of time. I rolled down my window and said, “may I please put a quarter in the meter?” I was hoping to save the neighboring car from getting a ticket. It was just an act of kindness.
I received a quick rebuttal, “no” she said. I proceeded to ask her why. She replied, “is this your car?”. I said, “no”. With a stern face she continued to proceed to write the owner of the vehicle a ticket.
There was another lady observing the entire conversation. She quickly gestured by shaking her head. The words she did not speak were clear on her facial expression.
Grace is often described as an unmerited favor, receiving a blessing even though we do not deserve it.
The Word of God speaks of One who came to demonstrate grace to us. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (John 3:16). We rejected him! We spat on his face, took abrasive nails and hammered them through his flesh producing a flow of blood. The blood that was shed would redeem mankind to himself. We did not ask to be saved but the Lord knew our condition! We would expire to eternal separation from God.
The vehicle’s owner next to mine did not ask me to add a quarter to his expired meter. It was an act of kindness and grace. But the law, the parking attendant refused to allow grace to operate!
We all need grace.
Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit of God and it desires to be dispensed everywhere we go.
Grace usually comes along with Mercy. We often use these two words interchangeably, but they are different. I've heard it described like this, mercy is God not punishing us as our sins deserve, and grace is often described as unmerited favor, God blessing us even though we do not deserve it.
Despite the disappointment, I will offer grace again as the opportunity presents itself.
We are all born with an “expired” sign because of the Fall in the Garden. But at the Cross, Mercy and Grace was dispensed to cover our deficit!
I receive your grace Lord! Wash over me with your mercy!
Kindness is contagious! Try it.
"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)
God bless you!~Liz