God Gives a Latte of Grace
I know what you think when you see this picture: "I'd love to sprinkle kindness like confetti. Great concept, sweet thought. But sometimes, I really just don't feel like it. I don't have the energy, I'm tired, I'm hurting. I have no kindness it give."
Girl, I hear ya. The struggle is real. I struggle to be giving when I'm grumpy. I often fail to be Christlike when I'm cranky. I don't love well when I feel unloved, unwanted, and unappreciated.
When I feel worn out, emotional, or discouraged, the last I want to do is give. When my heart is hurting, when my head is tired, and my spirit is weary, I want to curl up in a little ball and crawl under my covers. I want to hide from the world, secure my heart on lockdown, and quit giving.
However, I've recently been on the receiving end of kindness where I couldn't return the favor, or pay for what I was given.
My sweet friend Liz generously gives her time and energy to provide me with photos for you guys to see on the blog. My discipler has given a listening ear and continuous prayer as I navigate the deep waters of the unknown. An anonymous stranger picked up our tab at Applebee's a couple weeks ago, just because. A barista at Starbucks gave me a free coffee when I forgot my wallet. And this was a big eye opener. Here's why:
I went to Starbucks, ordered a latte, and stood there looking at the barista with an awkward toothy grin as I realized I didn't have my wallet. Shoot.
The guy smiled with understanding and gave it to me anyway.
I got that latte despite not be able to pay for it. And that latte indeed brought a little bit of happiness to my day.
After it was gone, I realized that tomorrow I would want another cup of coffee as I worked.
But what if I forget my wallet again tomorrow? Knowing me, it's not all that unlikely. Would the barista give me grace again?
If I forget my wallet tomorrow, the guy might have mercy on me again, give me the coffee for free, and I would get to enjoy the momentary happiness another latte brings.
But if I continued this pattern, Mr. Batista would probably tell me to get lost. However, what if I had a friend who knew how forgetful I was, went to the Starbucks I always go to, and gave the barista a $500 gift card to charge my lattes to every time I forget my wallet?
The next time I forget my wallet with a big toothy grin, the barista wouldn't have to give mercy and let it slide. Instead, every single time I mess up and forget my wallet, he would look at me and say: it has already been paid for.
That would flabbergast me. It would melt and move my heart. I would stand in awe of a friend would pay my debt over and over again, every time I forget to do it right.
Guess what? We have that friend. Each one of us. He goes by the name of Jesus.
Our friend, Jesus, gave us the greatest gift of LIFE at the expense of His own, despite our inability to pay Him back. He made us right with the barista, or God, once and for all.
I don't know about you but I'd say that Truth surpasses all temporary feelings and satisfactions.
So if you're struggling to feel like being kind, perhaps wrestling with loss, family tension, anxiety, depression, financial struggles, loneliness, or anything else, you're not alone.
But I have a challenge for you. I challenge you to crawl out from under the covers and give just a little more. When you least feel like it, give your little heart away. We can give because we've been given the greatest gift by the Giver Himself.
PS. See Matthew 18: 21-35 to use this article to study Scripture!