Daddy put his finger to his lips, puckered and made a hushing sound as we climbed out of the station wagon, a block from our final destination. He didn’t need to, we’d gone over the rules and I was an eager accomplice. I wouldn’t make a peep.
I put my hand in Daddy’s; his palm felt a little sticky. That was funny because I knew Daddy wasn’t scared. But I saved my questions for later. With a wink, Daddy patted his coat pocket one more time. Satisfied by the crackling sound of a stiff envelope, he led me down the sidewalk.
As we drew near, I recognized my friend’s house. The family went to our church. They had a son in my Sunday school class and they attended the same class that Mom and Dad did. It was late, their porch light was off, only one faintly glowing upstairs window indicated life inside. I felt Daddy’s hand relax.
“Okay, Abby. Here’s what I need you do to. Take this envelope, tiptoe up to the front door and tuck it between the screen and wooden door. Be really quiet, don’t ring the doorbell. Then come straight back. I’ll be right here by the mailbox the whole time.”
I took the envelope from Dad, nodded solemnly and embarked upon my given task. The winter grass crunched beneath my sneakers. When I reached the door, I was glad for the small gap between the storm door and the jamb. I wouldn’t even need to open the door incase it squeaked. I wedged the parcel into the crack and ran back to Daddy.
That was at least 25 years ago. Daddy never revealed exactly what was in the envelope, just enough to explain the blessing of generosity.
A few days ago, a friend sincerely confided some financial fears to me. I promised to pray, shared as much encouraging truth as I could recall from the Scriptures and said goodbye. The first of the month was barely behind us. We were smack in the middle of that dreaded week when rent and mortgage and most bills come due. Last month, my husband and I spent more than I felt like we should.
But I couldn’t shake the feeling. Even though we’d been a little less careful last month, God still provided above our means. There was that surplus.
I didn’t wrestle with God for long. Daddy had set a precedent a quarter century before. I called a mutual acquaintance and arranged to send an anonymous gift. When I hung up this time, a little thrill swept through my chest.
I wonder if that feeling is something we inherit from our Heavenly Father. For most of my life, consciously or not, I’ve been afraid of taking advantage of grace. Now that you saved me, God, I’ll do everything I can for you! I’ll try not to make mistakes, I’d hate for you to have to expend grace on my account!
But the truth is, Jesus receives the greatest honor when we admit our deepest need and His unfathomable sufficiency; when we gratefully, humbly accept His gifts of salvation, daily grace, unrelenting forgiveness and perfect righteousness. And we find peace from all our anxious thoughts when we dive into His provision head first.
Obsessed With “Less”, by Sarah Cowles
True Faced: Trusting God and Others with Who You Really Are, book by Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol, John Lynch