The Library and the Gospel

Last week, a dear friend came over to connect and pray together. Before she arrived, my morning imploded and I needed to run a few unexpected errands. One of them being the library. I had to return something that was due, so I could avoid the over-due fine. So, we ran a few errands around town together, catching up in the car along the way, and we end up at the library. The blessed, beautiful library.

Our family loves the library. One of us is there at least 3 times a week, sometimes more. Turning something in, picking something up, requesting items, returning items, and the cycle goes on. Between the five of us, our family usually carries about 90 borrowed items from the library at a time. The limit is 100. We’ve exceeded the limit before and carried over our max borrowed items into my account, which is our secondary account. We try not to use my account, but sometimes we need to check out and borrow more than 100 items… Because… We really love to read and watch movies and borrow the libraries video games… and *bonus* we don’t have to pay for them. Well, technically our taxes help foot the bill for us to borrow. borrow. borrow…

I returned the items due and picked up the item on hold. The held item was a video game. A few months ago, the library changed their policy on borrowing video games, after several hundred of their video games were stolen. You have to go to the front desk to check out games. They don’t leave them in the cases, they can’t trust people anymore. It is so sad, really. 1,000’s of dollars worth of video games were stolen from the poor innocent library. The very place that we can borrow -nearly anything- for freeeeee…  Our library goes above and beyond books, CD’s and video games, offering a “library of things“.  You can check out bakeware, kitchenware, tools, instruments, arts and crafts, electronics, science and technology items… the list is endless!

Anyhoo, we went to the desk to pick up the game and the librarian pulled up my account and the shame of our outstanding F I N E slapped me in the face. “…I see you have a fine of $5.05 on your account”… Before she could finish the sentence, I was agonizing internally over the fact that I did not bring my wallet in with me, as I had planned for this to be a super quick-run inside, pick up the game and run back to my car-trip. “Yes.” I feebly replied, hoping she would let me pay the fine later, yet knowing there is a certain limit to how long you can carry a fine at the blessed, beautiful library, before they make you pay it off in order to check out more items.

The librarian, turned her computer screen so that I could see the long list of items over-due which had been fined. “Miss, this is your balance. But see, what I can do this week is erase your balance. This is library fine-forgiveness week.” Stunned, shocked, speechless. I just stood there. Perhaps reading my mind, or my body language, or my lack of words, she went on to explain… “This week, the library fathers have allowed us to clear all outstanding fines.” Click Click Click. And just like that, our balance was Zero. Once I regained my verbal abilities, I replied “Wow, this is just like Gods Grace!” And just like that. It was finished.

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I walked out of the library with my friend, overwhelmed by the fine-forgiveness from the library fathers, and the forgiveness I have received from my Heavenly Father. Amazed by this experience occurring the same week as Easter… In the middle of celebrating Holy Week and the miracle of Easter ~ the death and Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ ~ I was struck again by the depth of my Heavenly Fathers forgiveness.

The Death of Jesus ~ John 19

28Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” 29A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.
31It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath, because it was the Passover). So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. 32So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. 33But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. 34One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35(This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also can believe.) 36These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37and “They will look on the one they pierced.”

Thank You Jesus for Your sacrifice. You gave of Your own life, so that we may fully live as Children of God. Thank You for colliding the simple grace of library forgiveness with the powerful grace of Your forgiveness in my life. May I live a life which extends the same grace, love and forgiveness You have given me, toward others, every moment I have life on this earth.

Join me in the journey! I would love to hear your thoughts, and feel free to share our story… the half-written journey continues. In Him, Leslie

 

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