Grace Defined


Something hugely frightening happened to me recently. 

I shrunk my sweatshirt.

My sweatshirt.  The one that changed my life.  The one my husband gave me for Christmas that I had hardly taken off for three months.  The one I loved and the one that loved me unconditionally in return.

I had plans to only take it to the dry cleaner for the rest of my life.  But, I didn't pay attention and it ended up in the wash.  And then the dryer.  And then it shrunk.  And I came the closest I have ever come to a panic attack.  I discovered it late at night, right before bed, and Eric came running to answer the shrieks of pain from the laundry room. He then followed me to our room as I yelled, "No, no, no, no, no, no!" while I tore off my pajamas and put the sweatshirt on.  The sleeves were short.  The bottom hem didn't come to where it was supposed to.  The whole thing was off, wrong, ruined.

My husband watched from the bed as I mourned.  It was a slow process, this coming to terms with losing one of your best friends.  All five stages of grief played out in the microcosm of my closet.

And when I was finished, he told me to come lay my head on his chest.  I did, utterly spent.  And that's when he pulled out his phone and showed me that my new sweatshirt would be arriving in less than 48 hours.  A carbon copy of the one that would now fit my dachshund BEFORE its date with the dryer of death.  My new best friend.

We won't talk about how long my husband let me lament before he shared what he had just done (evidently I'm very entertaining when I'm upset), but let's take a moment to reflect on what he did do.

He gave me grace.

I had misused and mistreated his first gift.  And he offered me another, brand new and perfect, without a word of shame or reproach.  He paid the price.  Twice.

So very much like my Jesus. 

The One who came after me after I walked away. 

The One who bought back what was already His. 

The One who loves to see me wearing His ring, His clothes, His name.  So much so that when I mess up, He offers me a brand new start, with nothing but love in His eyes.