Grace: Unexpected and undeserved act of kindness
Gilgal Bible Chapel had decided to throw a going away party for our family the day before we were to move back to Iowa . We’d spent five years of our lives, sinking our roots into the people and town of West Milford New Jersey. We’d moved there so I could attend some classes in marriage and family counseling. The schooling was only part time, so I’d got a job with Mark one of the men in the church who had a house framing business. I loved it.
Thuc (pronounced took) Mark, Vito, Paul, Charlie and I worked side by side, in some cases 6 days a week…I was going to miss these people. It was time to move and this was our going away party. The 28 ft Ryder truck was loaded with all of our 2nd hand furniture, and this was our going away party.There were skits, people sharing memories of our 5 years with them, food.
My friend John called me up front to present me with an envelope- a gift of money- ”a little something” to help as we relocated back to the Midwest. I didn’t open it, thinking it might appear a little tacky- I just said “Thank you.”
side note- This was a small church, mostly blue collar types… on a good Sunday, there would be between 60 and 80 people in attendance.
Anyway, John, obviously knew what was in the envelope and thought I should open it…”psss, Doug, I really think you should open it now“…….
I opened the envelop to discover a check for $4,000.00. I was speechless. A few years before, I’d seen the church send off another young family, and they’d given them a used car, maybe valued at $1,500- $2,000.00…and they as a family were going to pastor a church somewhere…me..I was just a carpenter and his family heading back to Iowa.
This was not the first time I’d experienced an unexpected, take your breath away gift of love….and it wasn’t the last time.
It happened again two weeks ago….are you still with me? Still reading along?
Long story short, we own a small apple orchard, it’s just now beginning to produce some beautiful apples :
Close up of the 2009 Honeycrisp crop
Closeup of the 2009 Gingergold apple crop
2 years ago, someone gave us a walk in cooler (without the refrigeration unit). I’ve been looking into what it would take to get the thing up and running…commercial compressors are not cheap. As I have done some reading on the Internet , I came across a little electronic gizmo that attaches to a household air conditioner…it’s called a Coolbot- or a fraction of the cost. Well, about two weeks ago, someone out of the blue sent me an e-mail asking about the orchard, the status of the cooler, etc. I told them it wasn’t going to happen this year…just didn’t have the money. They wrote back, offering to help with funding, because they felt a spiritual nudge (prompting) to do so…and the rest is history:
closeup of the cool bot control
picture of the electrician hooking up the sub-panel
picture of the ginger-gold apples I picked last night and put in the cooler.
A friend and electrician offered to help me hook up the wiring to the cooler. He was able to pick up 175 foot of #6 UF wire for us at a contractor’s supply store.. This is the type of wire you can bury in the ground long term…it is not cheap. When I asked him for the invoice he simply said, it was on him (as well as his time hooking things up)…so that made two people who felt prompted to help us out with the cooler this Summer…everything was up and running virtually to the day I needed it in order to refrigerate the first variety of apples.
I as a person, I enjoy extending unexpected kindness to others…to be on the receiving end is a little trickier How many times do you hear people say, “I love to give -but have a hard time receiving…”
To you I would simply say, get over it. When you allow someone else to extend grace to you, you bring them joy.
Thoughts, comments, questions? As always, thanks for reading my stuff. DM