International Ministries

Shock and Awe (a moment of surprise and regret)

March 6, 2011 Journal
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Rhonda has been having a problem with her phone.  So I have been on a quest to fix it.  She has a smart phone, albeit an older “hand-me-down” version of one, and it wasn’t working right.  Being the technical one in the family, I have been dubbed the one to make the phone call to “tech support” and get this problem fixed (putting that in quotes because everyone knows in most cases that isn’t reality).

This was the fourth or fifth call, and I was getting discouraged.  In the process of the call, at about minute 50 or so, the senior tech told me that the phone had become obsolete because the company just rolled out its newest update. He went on to say I would need to get a new one.  I explained (in a nice, diplomatic voice, I swear) that I would love to do that, but I would then have to sign a service contract, which I would have to break in four months because our family was leaving for the mission field.  It didn’t make good sense for me to do that.  I went on to thank him for trying and told him that we would just have to make do with what we currently have.  Heartbroken…I was getting ready to get off the phone, when he asked me to hold on one more time because he wanted to check on one more fix.  I hesitantly agreed and a minute or two later he came back and said something like the following (I am unsure of exact words because I was stunned):

I talked to my manager and we value you as a customer and what you are doing to serve others, so we want to give you a replacement for this phone…we want to give you a brand new phone for free, with no contract.  Would that be okay?

After jumping around like a prize fighter after a knock out, I had a thought…

Isn’t it interesting that the receiving of grace still catches us off guard?  I mean if you think about it, as believers in Christ, grace is in our wheelhouse, right?  We are people that through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus have received grace and mercy greater than we could ever repay, and yet when our fellow man shows us mercy or grace, we are always amazed.  I wonder if it is because in the moment of receiving said grace, we realize all of the missed opportunities we’ve had to give grace to others in the name of Christ.  In my excitement at such a great gift from this huge company that just knows me as a customer number, I also felt the sharp tinge of regret, for I have had opportunities to do the same and didn’t.  My prayer is that for each of us, we could experience the beauty of passing on grace to others…and that we would feel regret’s pain when we pass up the chance.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2.4-5 NIV)