It was a cold and dark morning. There were upwards of 45-50 people milling about. Coffee and doughnuts could only keep the masses at bay for so long. The delivery was late. The leaders were concerned. Phone calls to locate the lost truck were unsuccessful. Finally, about an hour after the expected delivery, the truck driver called us. He was running late and was about an hour away. Grrrrrr! As the announcement was made of the delay, there were some murmurs and it was thought many willing workers would go back home and not return.
Fast forward an hour and the tractor trailer rolls into the unloading area. In other places and with some people there would have been an ugly exchange between the late truck driver and the volunteers who sacrificed their time and energy for this. Here, in this setting, one volunteer grabbed a cup of coffee and a nondairy creamer and went to the trucker's door. As he swung it open, he was greeted with a, "Good morning! You look like you could use a cup of coffee." The look on his face was one of shame for running late and surprise at the offer of grace. For a bunch of volunteer United Methodists (UM) and friends, it was a gentle reminder of how God chooses to treat us when we fail.
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to
our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear
him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has
compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
The event on this past Saturday was a "Potato Drop" sponsored by the Society of Saint Andrews and staffed by folks from many UM churches in Mifflin county. We were receiving 22,000+ pounds of gleaned potatoes to be sorted and rebagged into smaller portions (From 50 lb. bags to 10 lb bags.) There was an air of joy and celebration as the people worked. Some carried bags to tables where an army of people worked like machines to accomplish the work. It was estimated the sorting should take upwards of 4-5 hours. Our group was done in 1.5 hours. As our truck driver sat in his cab completing his driver log and needed paper work, our team leader offered him a tip for his service (even though he was quite late). Once again this driver was overcome by grace. He thanked the leader profusely and eventually was on his way to the next stop. It felt good to be agents of holiness in an otherwise cold dreary day.
Stop to consider how you might be an agent of godliness and grace to someone who has disappointed you. You and I know what it feels like to receive grace. It feels great to know we don't get what we deserve. Consciously live grace-filled moments today and extend an olive branch where otherwise you might clench a fist.