It was grade nine, so I must have been about 15-years-old at the time. I lived across the back lane from a girl I’ll call Cindy. She came from a broken family. It’s a long and tragic story, but let’s just say that she didn’t have it easy over there. The long scar on her cheek told me just how bad it was.
One Saturday night my mom discovered that her wallet was missing from her purse. Unfortunately, the only person that had been to our house that day was Cindy. After avoiding our calls the next day, there was no doubt in our minds, it was her.
When Mrs. J found out what had happened, she promptly told us that Cindy would be over to apologize and return the money right away.
Five minutes later Cindy was standing in our kitchen holding $20 in an open hand, avoiding eye contact with my mom.
Part of me wished we could somehow avoid the inevitable confrontation while another part of me hoped she would give Cindy the lecture of her life. She abused our friendship, robbed my family, and I knew that she needed to be punished.
Cindy was waiting to face the music. But what she faced instead was grace.
Instead of a lecture, instead of harsh words, and instead of finger-pointing, Mom chose to forgive her that day. I stood there watching as she wrapped her arms around my friend telling her how much she loved her and how much she meant to our family.
“I forgive you,” Mom said, holding her as close as she would her own child, while tears trickled down Cindy’s face.
Mom had taught me about grace over the years – about the great love and limitless forgiveness of God. But it’s one thing to talk about it, and another to live out those words.
Reaching deep into her heart with God’s healing grace, Mom’s love spoke louder than words ever could.
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Tilling the Soil
Read Luke 15:11-32 where we see one of the greatest stories of compassion and grace.
I can’t stop at one verse today. They are so good, that I have to share three!
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-15, NIV)
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Darlene Schacht and her husband Michael live in Manitoba Canada where the summers are beautiful and the winters are cold. Together they’ve come to learn that relationships aren’t always easy, but that marriage, the way God intended it to be, is a treasure worth fighting for.
She began her publishing journey about twelve years ago when she pioneered one of the first online magazines for Christian women, known at the time as “Christian Women Online Magazine.” After three years, Darlene left CWO to blog as a solo author at Time-Warp Wife Ministries.
It was also during this transition that she worked alongside actress Candace Cameron Bure to write the NYT Best-Selling book, Reshaping it All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness. Reshaping it All was the winner of both the 2011 USA Best Book Awards and the 2012 Christian Reading Retailers Choice Awards.
Author of more than 15 books, Darlene continues to write and to minister to her readers through her blog at TimeWarpWife.com.
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You are loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife