I recently had a small but poignant experience that sharpened to me the beauty of everyday redemption. I had just paid for getting my hair done at the beauty salon. As I was leaving my tip for the stylist, I realized I was short on what would have been an appropriate amount. I gave her what I had, but I knew it was insufficient. All the way home, I struggled with what I should do. It may sound strange, but at that moment every other responsibility in my life paled in comparison to getting more money to her. Convicted by my lack of generosity, I could hardly wait to call the salon and verify the beautician’s name. I sent her a brief note with the additional tip money. And I was relieved….
I was relieved that God’s grace allowed me to participate in the redemption process. He actually gave me the opportunity to “make up” my lack. What if I hadn’t been able to find her name? What if circumstances would have prevented me from giving? Often, we are not offered the chance to “make it up.” We try to compensate for our failures, but those we’ve affected refuse our attempts. It would be like the beautician saying “no thanks, you already blew it” when I tried to complete the tip.
The incident in the beauty salon that day made me want to be more like Jesus. It made me want to be more loving toward those I disagree with, more generous toward those who ask my forgiveness, more ready to extend “second chances.”
Were it not for the redemptive love and power of Christ, it would be futile to try and “live at peace with all men” But he’s in the business of making all things new. Even you. Even me.