Uncle Frank's Grace
“Good Stewards of the manifold Grace of God…” (1 Peter 4:10)
Many years ago, as a young boy, I would visit my Uncle Frank’s house and with my cousins, explore the “shadowy depths” of his basement. One day as we explored, he told us not to go into a certain area and not to touch some of the special vases and antique pitchers he collected and used as models in his still life paintings. So of course, that’s exactly where we went. I remember holding this one pitcher of green glass with special twine wrapped around it in a beautiful and intricate pattern of Italian design. As I went to put it back, it slipped out of my hand and broke into pieces on the cold cement floor. I panicked! Oh no… boy… I’m in trouble now! I ran upstairs and then ran out of the house and hid outside where a brick chimney created a cubbyhole against the house… and that’s where I shivered thinking the worst.
I heard my Uncle Frank call for me and as his voice got closer to where I was I knew my short, young life was over! Time to face the music, pay the piper, meet my maker, do the crime pay the time, take it like a man and be ready to be grounded until the next Haley’s Comet passes by! I was ready for the consequences. But when he saw me hiding, he came to me, put his arm around my shoulder, walked me out of my hiding place and said, “It’s alright, you’re forgiven, it’s ok”. Then he asked me to follow him. I thought for sure now that this will be the end and all his warmth was a trick to set me up to kill me! He showed me a picture he painted and in that picture was the vase I just broke… and it was as beautiful as ever! He told me he’ll always have that vase and that he loved me and that I was more important to him than that vase. My Uncle showed me God’s grace! I deserved all the punishment and consequences that were due my foolish and disobedient act… and I was ready for them. But, he showed me grace that said I’m forgiven, the grace of God’s heart, His favor, care and strength… a grace that held me and enabled me to move on in love, forgiveness and peace without fear.
My Uncle has long passed on but his lesson still lingers. As I was shown grace, I, in turn, must show grace…. as a steward, caretaker of God’s grace. Ephesians 1:7 speaks of the riches of God’s grace that He lavishes on us. So must we lavish it upon others. There are so many people out there who clearly have done something to warrant consequences in their life, but their judge is God and not us. They are waiting for the hammer to fall, the shoe to drop, the next punch to be thrown, the harsh words and the condemning looks, another rejection, another loss and another tear soaked pillow. But maybe today is a day of grace, God’s beautiful grace that can restore, heal and bring a new beginning. A grace that will show His love and compassion and a grace that can transform even the hardest heart and the most stubborn mind!
Today, and everyday, let’s be those stewards of God’s grace as He leads us to those who need it. You never know, maybe someone broke a vase today!
“…because of the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:14-15)