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All That For a Dirty, Worn-Out, Hand-Me-Down

My wife Tiffany’s frustration was immediately evident when she called.

"I lost one of Caleb’s shoes. I know it was a hand-me-down shoe from Dillon [our nephew], but they fit perfectly and are the ones he wears to the park. I left them on the roof of the car [I know we’ve all done that]. One wedged itself underneath the roof rack and made it home safely, but the other is gone. Since you work so close to the park, do you mind seeing if you can find it?"

"I’m on it," I responded.

I jumped in my car as if I’m on some risky mission like Kiefer Sutherland in 24. I’ve never gotten around to actually watching that show, but everytime I see a preview for it I think:Boy, that’s cool. I should really be watching that show.

I arrived at the the park, found the place where Tiffany said they parked, and surveyed the scene. No shoe anywhere. She said she made a u-turn immediately after she left her parking place. I looked but still no shoe.

Driving slowly back to my office, the line of cars behind me were getting visibly irritated. I couldn’t blame them, but still the mission could not be abandoned for the sake of a few frustrated drivers. The search must continue.

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As the road widened into four lanes, I saw something ahead that possibly resembled a shoe. I was on Camp Bowie Blvd going southwest under I-30 (click the map to the left), but I had a line of cars behind me and no shoulder to pull off on. So I u-turned and doubled back.

About that time my phone rang. It was Tiffany. "Did you find it?" she asked.

"I have a visual, and I am en route. Stand by," I said [No wonder she thinks I’m weird].

"Where is it?"

"It’s on Camp Bowie almost under I-30. Honey, if I don’t make it, [I paused for the drama] I love you. Tell Caleb that his dad died a hero."

"I’ll stay on the line," she responded.

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This time there was only one truck behind me. I turned on my hazard lights, slowed down, opened the door, reached down, and scooped up the shoe, fully expecting my car door to get ripped off. But it wasn’t.

"You there Babe? The package has been secured."

All that for a dirty, worn-out, hand-me-down shoe? Am I crazy? Probably so.

Then God brought a verse of Scripture to mind:

Or suppose a man who has ten shoes and loses one. Does he not light a lamp, sweep the house, drive back to where he may have lost it and search carefully until he finds it? And when he finds it, he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost shoe.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. – Luke 15:8-10 (with some gentle paraphrasing)

All that for a dirty, lousy sinner who repents? Is God crazy? No, He’s not crazy, but He’s certainly loving, and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between the two.

Love causes you to pull crazy stunts and take wild risks. For God, grace is risky. Think about it. You give people complete forgiveness of sin, purify their hearts, inhabit their souls, let them live with you for eternity, and all you require of them is that they believe in you!? Sounds preposterous doesn’t it? Maybe not. Perhaps God understands our hearts better than we do. Maybe He knows that if we simply understood His grace and the price He paid for us, then we would learn a priceless lesson about our heart:

A forgiven, purified heart desires to reciprocate.

Andy Knight

About the Author

Andy is the user interface designer for YouVersion, the Bible App. He has a passion for sharing God's story of grace and freedom through the internet. Andy lives in Roswell, GA, with his wife and three sons. You can follow him on Twitter at @andyknight.