“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
Several years ago, while in a frazzled hurry, I hit a parked car. “Mommy, did you crash?! Did you break our car?” my little boys shouted from the backseat. I wasn’t worried about dinging our well-loved (read: beat up) minivan. But when I got out and saw the sizable dent in the shiny red bumper of the new SUV I foolishly hit, my heart sank into the pit of my stomach.
With hot tears stinging my eyes, I rifled through my purse for a pen and a paper. All I could find was my Walmart shopping list and a green crayon. So over the words bread and cereal, I scribbled a heartfelt apology along with my name and phone number so the car owner could call me.
Surely the bumper would have to be replaced, probably to the tune of a thousand dollars. I felt so stupid. So sorry. So ashamed. For days, a lump rose in my throat every time my phone beeped or rang. But the red SUV owner never called.
A couple of weeks passed. One day I answered the phone without thinking. “Hello?”
“Hi, this is Mary. I’m sorry it’s taken me a while to call but I just wanted to thank you for the note you left on my car,” the unfamiliar voice said. It took a minute to register.
“Oh my goodness, Mary. Thank you for calling. I’m so very sorry I hit your car. Let’s talk about repairing the damage,” I said.
“Oh, not at all dear. I just wanted to tell you I appreciated your kind note,” she replied.
“Oh, Mary, are you sure? I feel awful about it.”
“Don’t you worry at all. I could hardly see a thing,” she assured me. “I’m just thankful for your wonderful little note. I hope you and your family have a blessed day.”
Now tears streamed down my face for a different reason.
Jesus has been my Savior for 35 years. I grew up in the church and I’ve read my Bible regularly for two decades. But the thing that helped me truly understand the depth of God’s loving-kindness and grace wasn’t a sermon or theological discussion. It was a lady named Mary calling to say I didn’t have to fix her banged-up bumper.
Romans 5:8 (NIV) tell us, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This verse sums up the power and beauty of undeserved kindness in the greatest display ever made.
Undeserved. That’s the undercurrent of God’s great story of redeeming His people. He did what He did not have to do for the sake of love.
Kindness is not something we earn or deserve. Kindness is the overflow of love. Compassion and mercy in action. That’s who Jesus is and how He lived. That’s the life He’s calling us to live too.
TODAY: Instead of demanding that the one who wronged you make it right, offer the mercy of undeserved kindness.
-Written by Becky Keife, adapted from her (in)courage book, The Simple Difference.
Leave a Comment
Sarla Williams, Sri Lanka says
Thank you SO much for sharing this ! Having done a course on Biblical peacemaking….this story seems like an everyday thing but yet brings us the profound truth of God’s amazing mercy and grace! He does not treat us as our sins deserve as the Psalmist says . I believe God saw your sincere heart and that seemingly small act of writing a note resulted in more kindness !!
Blessed hearing it and reminds me to extend grace and kindness each day.
Sarla Williams, Sri Lanka
Becky Keife says
Thank you for the encouragement! What a gift to receive God’s kindness and then be compelled to share it with others.
Ruth Mills says
Becky, what a wonderful example of underserved kindness! Praying we all can be Mary to each other because she was shining Christ! Blessings!
Becky Keife says
Yes, may we be like Mary to someone this week!
Thanks, Becky! I needed this today and I know exactly how to apply it!
Becky Keife says
Oh, praise God! So grateful to know this was right on time for you.
Diane V Hunter says
Thanks foe the loving message and to always remember to show HIS LOVE in all circumstances. Blessings to all
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
Becky thank you for today’s reading. Yes we can get when we think someone has wronged us. We just want them to make it right. I find that with my Dad when he does something wrong. Does not tell me. I find with myself I get all annoyed he didn’t tell me he did the thing wrong. Like I asked him to always tell me if he brakes a glass. As he has dog. I be afraid for the dog. As he doesn’t clean it up probably with his age. The dog he has could get glass it in her paws. I do home help for my Dad 6 days a week as he elderly as I do it on to Lord and for the Love of my Dad. When you tell him nicely to always tell you he broke a glass and he doesn’t. Then says no big deal I didn’t tell you. I say Dad yes there is as there is still pieces of glass about that you not cleaned up probably. My Dad will say no there is not. Your just saying that. You then have to show him even though he doesn’t want to look. You say your showing him for the dog safety and cleaning it up for that reason. I do get annoyed he doesn’t tell me. What you wrote in today reading has really spoke to me. I should do just cleaned it up out of kindness. Not expect my Dad to have remembered to tell me broke a glass any time he doesn’t and remember he might not remember to tell me all the time because he elderly. God showed me in through today’s reading you wrote Backey. Sometimes I do wrong in God eyes like my Dad maybe forget to say sorry to God or think like my Dad would I done no wrong. So no need to say anything to God. God said to me still shows me undeserveding kindness. I have to do the same for my Dad. How true that is. Thank you again for this reading. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little ❤️
Tanya Villani says
What a beautiful testimony. Thanks for being so authentic. I have done the same, but never received a call back. You are truly blessed. I am convicted of the times I have not done that when my car door has hit another car door, just shot up a quick prayer for forgiveness. It matters to Christ that we live lives of integrity.
Beth Williams says
Last fall I did a couple stupid things. Like you, I felt so stupid. So sorry. So ashamed. Feelings of worthlessness arose in me. But God in His loving kindness has been doing a mighty work in & through me. Sermons come that are spot on for my situation. In Courage messages that hit home. Plus a superb, caring husband that is willing to love me in spite of the mistakes & pain I have caused myself (trigger finger). Hubby is cheering me on to newer & better things. I couldn’t ask for more. Reminding myself of the great undeserved love Jesus has for me. So much so that He left the splendor of Heaven to come to broken Earth & die a horrible death. I plan on giving undeserved love & grace to others.
Rose Rupasinghe says
Hi, Praise unto HIM for using you as HIS instrument to show the true path of love to me in a personal crisis. I am sure like me through HIS grace many would have initiated re-thinking and acting.