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|Paid the Bill
|Thursday, June 18, 2020|
They say that troubles and tragedies come in threes.
First, there was the washing machine. Aged and infirmed, it died an inconvenient death when we were in the middle of building a room addition and were stretched for cash.
The next week, on a bitterly cold night, we woke to the sound of our smoke detectors. It was our furnace—nearly melted and ready to explode. Replacement cost: five thousand dollars.
A 66-passenger school bus rammed into our car just one week later, totaling the thing—another few thousand bucks we didn't have. Though there were no injuries on the bus (which thankfully was empty)— my wife ultimately needed shoulder surgery.
This trio of disasters put us so far into the hole there was little hope of finishing off the room addition—essentially a wooden shell with insulation, electrical, and drywall all waiting to be done.
So there I was in the check-out line with a bunch of conduit pipe and assorted electrical supplies. My dad was with me, as I knew nothing about electrical work (or most of the work that was needed!).
As the cashier rang up the parts, I got out my credit card. We'd long run out of available cash. But my dad waved me off. Instead, he pulled out his own credit card—and paid the whole bill. Approaching $100, as I recall.
I was stunned. Understand that my dad has always been generous. But there was something about this gesture—the sense of futility I felt about our finances, juxtaposed against the kindness of his gift—that etched this scene into my soul in a flash. It was a ray of hope, signaling that maybe someday we’d get back on our feet and get that room addition finished.
When I think about Father's Day, that scene never fails to come to mind. And I wonder if maybe it's an image of a more profound truth. While we were morally and spiritually hopelessly in debt, our Heavenly Father sent Jesus and paid our entire sin bill: “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
You might not be blessed with a generous dad like me. But your Heavenly Father has paid the ultimate price to forgive you your sin, by sending Jesus to the Cross. That’s something to celebrate on Father’s Day—and every day!
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