9/24/2008 11:36:00 pm

Bags and Grace

Posted by Unknown |

So my van as a little problem. The backing on the inside of my boot has come off and has this whole exposed glue section. In the old days the glue used to get on things. But I tested it on Friday and it didn't come off so I figured it was fine.

Anyway, coming home I packed my van carefully so that nothing was touching or would fall onto the back of the the boot.

Then just after I've packed the car a few more people come along and give me a whole bunch more bags, so I re-pack. And I think I've got it alright, but I didn't really look as hard the second time.

I get back to Sydney, open my boot and find one bag, just one, has fallen onto the boot, and the bag just happens to be a pink Country Road bag. Being a tiny bit in the know I understand that a Country Road bag, isn't just any old bag. It's a special, $60, "in" bag. And the bag isn't owned by someone who goes to my youth group, it's a visitor's.

Realising what I've done, I start feeling rather bad. I consider pretending I didn't see it and hope it doesn't get noticed till later. But I figure that's probably bad.

So I find the bag's owner, fess up, and feel bad. I offer to replace it, but she's being kind and telling me not to worry about it.

I still feel bad though. I considered taking her at her word and not worrying about it, but I did ruin a Country Road bag. So I kinda stewed in my own guilt for a while.

On Monday morning I headed off for the shops to find a new Country Road bag, I found them but couldn't find one the same. So I worried if I bought the wrong type I probably wouldn't fix the problem.

Then I started having images of me turning up to school and giving this girl a brand new $60 bag and everyone wondering why Tom the Scripture Guy is handing out expensive presents.

So I thought through other options, I checked the Country Road website, but there are no bags there (at least not the right ones) and there is no online shop.

I decided to sit on the issue for a day or two so yesterday I worried about it.

This morning I came up with the brilliant idea of a gift voucher. That solves the problem of ugly bag, strange presents and delivery (I can post a gift voucher).

I arrived at work, decided just to ask Rach's advice to make sure that she also thinks my idea is brilliant, and just as I turn around in my office to go over and talk to Rach, and I see on the floor, $60 with a note saying "To Tom, 1x Country Road Bag".

How odd. I couldn't really figure out who knew I was stressing about the bag so much that they'd want to pay for it.

It's strange. On the one hand I'm feeling way loved that someone would know how stressed this has made me that they'd pro-actively help out and pay for the whole thing.

On the other hand I got a little miffed that someone else is going to pay for the bag. I don't know who gave me the money so I can't give it back or say "Thank you". And they gave me the money for the bag so I can't spend it on anything else. So now I'm stuck with someone else paying for my mistakes, and I thought I'd solved them myself.

I've decided not to stew on it and feel loved, because it's a lovely thing for someone to do. Plus, it's also a rather fitting lesson for me about my own desire to earn my redemption. I should just be thankful but instead I feel annoyed that I can't do it myself. Gosh I'm dumb.

Isn't it amazing how you think you're doing fine, then someone does something loving and gracious and kicks you up the bum.

Tomorrow I'm off to Country Road to buy a gift voucher, and I'll thank Jesus for restoration of relationships and for people who teach me lessons and do really wonderful things at the same time. If the person who gave me the money was around I'd thank them too.