A fitness instructor at my gym was at the grocery store the other day. Two people were ahead of her in line: a middle-aged man and a woman in her 70s. When the total was rung up for the woman, the man pulled out some cash and paid her bill.
The woman was shocked. “Oh, no, don’t do that,” she protested. “I feel so bad.”
She shot a glance at the fitness instructor and repeated, “I feel so bad.”
“Why do you feel bad?” the instructor asked. “You just received a gift!”
The woman chewed on that for a moment, then her face broke out in a gleeful grin. “Thank you!” she said to the man. Her joy spread to the cashier and even to the people in the next checkout line.
This made me think about God’s grace. I’ve talked to people who stay away from God because they feel they are so unworthy. But that’s the point. Grace isn’t grace if it’s earned or deserved. The woman in the grocery line didn’t get a blessing because she cooked a meal or ran an errand. The man blessed her simply because he wanted to give.
How this is a faint echo of the immeasurable grace of God! Evangelical scholar J.I Packer has written dozens of theological tomes, but of grace he simply notes, “I am graven on the palms of His hands. I am never out of His mind … He knows me as a friend, one who loves me, and there is no moment when His eye is off me, or His attention distracted from me, and no moment therefore, when His care falters.”
Sometimes you find grace in a grocery line. But you can always find it in God.