Grace. A ready favor. Sometimes it catches me by surprise…
I count it a great honor and joy of my life that I get to watch kids journey in their faith. I have a precious friend named Jack that I’ve had the privilege of getting to know for several years now. I wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate a victory that I witnessed in Jack’s life recently.
In Richmond, we studied about the life of Joseph and the life cycle of a butterfly, particularly about how it is a lovely depiction of the Gospel. After Bible Time, we actually got the opportunity to release butterflies that we’d grown. The kids were so very excited about this and each child was interested in the good of the butterflies. After our release, we noticed that quite a few hadn’t been able to fly away. At that point, Jack and a few other children began a “butterfly rehabilitation center” and showed great care and concern for the welfare of our new friends. They collected them back into cups and gathered new food for them. I was so touched by their concern for these tiny creatures.
Earlier in the day, I’d had one butterfly in a plastic bug container to show the kids. I kept the container with me throughout the race. Nearing the end of the night, Jack asked me if he could take the plastic container home with him. I hesitated (they didn’t belong to me) and finally answered that I’d already told another child “no”, so it would be unfair for me to give it to him now. Jack then sat back and thought about the answer I’d given him. After a moment, he said, “Miss Danielle, why don’t you give it to [the other child]?” “Well, I could do that, but then what would you do?”, I answered. Jack said, “Well, I wouldn’t get one but I want [him] to have it.” In that moment, I considered my options and felt the Spirit leading me to honor Jack’s request and hopefully illustrate a spiritual truth in his life. Since Jack took no thought for himself and instead showed a desire to bless someone else, I told him to take the container outside to the other child. I wanted him to see the joy I knew the gift would bring someone else. Before he left, though, I told him that although he couldn’t have known, I did have another plastic container. Because of the grace he’d shown, I was going to give him the gift he so readily gave away. I’ll never forget the look on his face. “Sometimes, when we’re selfless and choose to bless others, God blesses us right back in a way we didn’t expect.”
I’m so proud of my friend, Jack, and the growth in grace that I see in his life. It challenged me to consider if I would’ve been so quick to extend grace. What a splendid example of what we’re endeavoring to teach the children this year. God gives gifts and grace to us, but they’re never meant to stay in our possession. He calls us to love Him with open hands, ready to extend every good gift He gives us to others.
Grace happens here. I look forward to all the ways we’ll see grace extended and received at the Community Center the rest of this season.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.”
2 Peter 3:18