The story isn’t over after all.
I told you here about meeting Chasady as we dug through her tornado debris a week and a half ago. But what I didn’t tell you was the blunder I made before we said good-bye.
Here’s what happened. . . .
I felt bad we couldn’t find more of her personal belongings. I felt worse that I was leaving for my comfy home while she was going to some temporary shelter.
I said I’d like to give her a gift, one I thought was in my pocket.
But it wasn’t in my pocket, not right nor left, not front nor back. Empty, save a tube of Vaseline, my truck key, and a Kleenex.
I apologized and felt the worst yet. How could I have not been better prepared? And why did I make it worse by offering—out loud even—something I didn’t have to give?
Chasady was kind about it, and we moved on.
But my ill-preparedness stuck with me. Running into her at the trailer park again was unlikely. I’d misused my only opportunity.
I did see Chasady briefly a few days later when she dropped by the work tent to tell us she was meeting with FEMA. She was in, out, and gone.
But God specializes in donating do-overs.
It’s called grace.
And I got mine.
Last Saturday I was working again at the trailer park when I looked up to see Chasady and her cousin Rose. We hugged and she told me their living conditions were still uncertain. It was my second chance! This time I was prepared to not only give her my originally planned gift, but even more.
It still wasn’t much. But it was something: It was grace to them.
And it was grace to me, too.
It was my do-over.
It was God saying, “Watch me for second chances.” Be prepared to act and be courageous to use them when they arrive.
No matter how large or small we mess up—and will in the future—God can redeem our deficiencies. He wants us more successful in loving each other than we do ourselves. And he’s powerful enough to make it happen if we’ll ask and receive.
If we’re not ready this time, maybe next. Just watch for it. Be prepared for your second chance.
* * *
Perhaps my story with sweet Chasady isn’t over yet? I don’t know what God has next; I pray I’m ready.
When have you been given a second chance to love better?
How have you benefited from someone else’s second chance to love you?
- Why should we encourage each other?
- Listening to dementia – “I’m Still Here”