Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Morality in Question: Final Chapter!
(This is the final post in a series of four... see where we began below!)
Now I am face to face with a man whose beautiful car I just scratched.
“I was just writing you a note,” I began. “I was getting out of my car and my door swung wide and scratched your side-view mirror.”
There was a moment of silence as I searched out any hint of change in facial expression that would clue me in to how loud he was going to yell at me. I noticed a purposeful kind of “blink” and a tiny narrowing of his lips as he probably contemplated the word “scratch” as it related to his $50,000 automobile. The silence went on a little longer than I could bear, so I filled the air with words.
“I’m so sorry! It’s all here,” I said displaying my note. “Oh, I am so, so, so sorry! But it’s all here! My name. I’m Sarah! My phone number. Here it is! Can you read it? Here we go… let me read it to you… it’s…”
“Don’t worry about it,” he interrupted.
“Excuse me?” I replied, handing him my note.
“Don’t worry about it,” he repeated, handing me back my note.
“Oh, of course I’m worried! This is obviously a brand-new car and you have your first scratch and I did it!” I rattled on, handing the note back in what is now a game of “hot potato” in the parking lot.
He took the note from my hands… read it quickly… attempted one more return of it, probably got sick of playing hot potato, then casually stuffed it in his car pocket.
“Thank you,” he said with a smile. “Thank you for telling me.”
Then he and his blemished side-view mirror just drove off! He didn’t even get out of the car to look at the damage! He said “thank you” and took off!
What unmerited grace! He didn’t yell at me. My soul was right with God. And I was free. As I explained to my boys, it was a surprise and a blessing that it all turned out so sweetly. But regardless of the man’s response… whether he responded with kindness or lost his temper… the truth set me free. I will never be faced with thinking about that incident negatively every time I see a scratch on a car. I will never have to feel like a hypocrite when I see a dent on my own car and wonder why the person who did it didn’t have the guts to fess up. I will never have to account to God for bad thoughts that turned into bad actions regarding that incident. How I wish, in retrospect, I'd gone to God and asked Him to manage every sinful moment in my life just like that.
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Are you free? It doesn’t always come to us automatically. When we cave to our earthly “defaults,” we can be led astray. But Scripture affirms that God will make our paths straight if we earnestly surrender to His direction when controversy, temptation or trouble presents.
Question: Are you faced with a moral dilemma today? What is the path to freedom? What does God want you to do about it?
(Photo by wader. See flickr.com for restrictions.)