I like to see how things work. When I was a child, my wondering about the workings of the universe, or as I knew it, my dad’s garage, was a place of endless joy to me. If you had asked my dad about it, he would have said that it was a place of endless missing tools, parts, and projects. In my early years the garage had a dirt floor that swallowed anything that fell on to it (this is where I learned the concept of a black hole). Periodically he’d corner me and ask where a (fill in the blank) had gone off to and I would reply I was using it in the garage. He would say where, I would show him the location on the dirt floor where I had been working and he would turn and write the item on his replacement list and go on with his business.
He never told me to stop, he told me to be more careful, but not to stop. He did put a concrete floor in about the time I was 10 to cut his losses, but I kept losing things. I learned two great things out of my dad’s example of tolerance. First, the things we possess are made to be used. My father risked a lot of stuff in that garage to my unknowing hands. Many of those things went on a one-way trip into a black hole never to be seen again. But for the greater good of my development he let those possessions go. The second thing I learned is that people have a higher value than any of my possessions. And that grace is a gift we can give on multiple occasions.
The Apostle Paul spoke of the grace of God in Jesus Christ in numerous places in his writings. He who gave so much to our understanding to what different forms grace can have in one’s life was stripped of all he possessed. Some say he gave it all away for the use of Christ, and yet he spoke often of his riches. We are not made rich by what we possess. As followers of Christ, we are rich because of the grace that is extended to us over and again by God and by each other. The dirt floor of our garage was a treasure trove of lost items, but the thing I remember most was the grace given to me by the keeper of the garage.