1 Timothy 1:12-20
Grace is difficult to describe but impossible not to feel. The best we can do, like Paul in his letter to Timothy, is offer testimony to its truth. Here’s mine.
Among my most cherished memories of the few years we lived in New England was going apple picking one fall at a farm deliciously named Honey Pot Hill Orchards.
Now the deal at Honey Pot Hill Orchards is this: you buy a paper sack with a strong handle at a set price, and you’re free to take home all the apples you can fit into it. You’re also allowed to eat as many apples as you’d like while you’re out picking.
I couldn’t believe this was true, and immediately worried that if we didn’t hurry there’d be no apples left!
So we walked a little faster out to the orchards until we came upon the first row of trees, which were overflowing with apples, and I realized how silly I was to think there wouldn’t be enough. The ground below, too, was covered with apples already fallen, and this about made my heart stop. What a waste! Somebody needed to do something!
So I did. I began to pick them up, as many as I could, and looked for somewhere to put them, quickly realizing this was futile: the apples had nowhere to go other than the ground, my bag, or my stomach. So I started to eat.
I ate until I felt sick, and then went over to a clearing at the top of the hill to sit down. From here, I looked up and caught a view of the broad orchard, rows and rows of trees, each filled with apples, the ground below them littered with even more. And in this moment I realized that this is what true, extravagant, wasteful abundance feels like. Which is the best way I know to speak of grace.
When have you felt true, abundant grace? When have you offered it?
God, help me to be a bearer of your extravagant grace this day, even as I receive it. Amen.