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Monday, October 31, 2005 

On Grace and Truck Dents

While this will probably come as no shock to many of you, I am learning more and more just how bad of a driver I can be. Unfortunately my wife isn't that much better. Recently, we have had our share of driving damages. About a month ago, she rear-ended a vehicle while traveling to school in early morning traffic. It caused a significant amount of damage to our car, which still remains in the shop, five times longer than the initial estimate required. And then Friday, I was dropping off my truck key to my wife, mistakenly believing that we would actually be getting our car back that day, when backing out of the garage at the hospital where my wife works, I pulled a Sonny Randle. That's an accident that involves hitting a parked car while backing up. It is named after my father, who since his retirement from the police department, has made a second career of such incidents.

But in the midst of all this, God has been incredibly gracious to us. First, He made sure that we were able to have the money to pay for the deductible on the car. Secondly, He sovereignly worked out the situation in our work and school schedules so that we would not have to rent a car (not to mention the fact that gas prices have dropped -- Do you know how much it costs to fill up a gas-guzzling truck twice a week?). And tonight we got a phone call from the man whose truck I backed into. I left a note on his windshield with my phone number and a brief apology and explanation of what I had done.

Now, before you think that I am some kind of saint for leaving a note, realize that it was difficult to do so. I had to fight the urge of my sinful nature to just drive off. Satan sweetly whispered in my ear, "No one is around, you don't have the money, and the guy will never know." Thankfully, the Holy Spirit filled my heart with an overwhelming sense of the fear of God. It was the right thing to do, so I begrudgingly tore a blank sheet of paper I had in my backpack in half, wrote the note, and stuck it under his windshield wiper, all the while secretly wishing (rather sinfully) that it would blow off or get misplaced by the owner. Later, sanity returned and I asked God for mercy, that He might grant the owner of the truck understanding so that we would be able to work something out, or that he or she might be independently wealthy and just cancel the debt.

Well, tonight the man who owned the truck called. When I answered the phone and he told me who he was, I felt like my father told me he did when his father would, days after a incident of misbehavior, remind him that it was time for the punishment -- a good, hard spanking. But to my surprise, he canceled the debt. He said, "the truck already had a dent on that side; you just pushed it in a little farther, so don't worry about it." He told me it was enough that I had placed the note on the truck. There would be no need to pay for the accident. As I struggled for words, I first said, "That is really gracious of you," but remembered that it was not grace he had given me; it was mercy. What I deserved was to be forced to pay for the damages, but he did not hold me to that. He mercifully cancelled the debt. Now, parallels to what Christ did for us abound here. I will not go into detail. But suffice to say that God is gracious to us, even in the midst of our sin.

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person- though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die- 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
-- Romans 5:6-11

Hey, you didn't tell me about the truck incident. at least you managed to hit a nice guy. By the way, I like the way your site looks. you did good. real good.

Yeah, I think I was trying to forget about hitting the guy. Anyway, thanks for the encouragement. If you think I should do anything else with it let me know. I still want to sit down and see how you changed colors and added pics.

Der--

it does look nice.

now c'mon ... say something controversial.

say it.

Your commentary is excellent.

A couple of years ago I hit a parked car with my truck in an isolated spot. I had the same temptation to leave. But I left a note instead. And I paid for all the damages to the parked car out of my own pocket.

While my truck still bears the scars of that incident, I know that my actions were a witness that glorified my Heavenly Father.

So....Daniel "Piper" Randle...I'm sure you'd link this to Future Grace.

Am I right?

HaHa!, Actually no Bishop, I would think Piper would say that we couldn't make a specific connection between cause and effect. We must by faith believe that if we by grace meet the conditions of God, He will by virtue of His character, bless that by providing further grace. Does that make sense?

DR-I need something else-I thought you were turning a new leaf and starting to write more often these days. I like this post but...you know, us glass roomers need a little more! HA. Adrienne

Deion,

I'm ashamed of you for using this story of a fender bender to discuss grace instead of another story (oh, there are so many). I recall a time when you borrowed someone's car and, though you say, through no fault of your own, the car was totaled. it seems to me that the owner of the car (he shall remain anonymous, but lets call him cks) didn't charge you for damagages imposed on the car. now, that's some 'mercy'. just wanted to remind you of an old story.

I holla,
jbs

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Paul was not interested merely in the ethical principles of religion or of ethics. On the contrary, he was interested in the redeeming work of Christ and its effect upon us. His primary interest was in Christian doctrine, and Christian doctrine not merely in its presuppositions but at its centre. -- J. Greshem Machen.

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