In the manuscript I am currently slaving over, I take my character through a series of lessons–helped along by a friendly, face-shifting angel. One of them is the quality of receiving gifts well. By that I mean, receiving gifts without expecting a catch or waiting for the attached strings to rope you into obligation.
I realized as I was writing this particular chapter that my main character is a lot like a very dear woman I know and love. She’s struggled for years to accept the concept of obligation-free gifts. I actually don’t know where that struggle originated. Sometime in her dysfunctional childhood I assume, but she’s reticent to share those deeper hurts.
What struck me as the most heartbreaking part of her story however, is the fact that she struggles to accept the free gift of salvation offered by her Heavenly Father. She’s a believer. I don’t doubt that–but she does. She’s got every proof you could find that her heart is captured by Christ, but she can’t see her own fruit and the grace that covers her. She struggles to grasp what free means.
I know my writing often parallels aspects and people in my life. Someone once told me to ‘write what you know.’ I just never thought that writing what I know meant infusing my words with the experiences and lives of those around me. I see and observe and write it all down.
It just comes out a little different than what I expected.
I love giving gifts to others. I love the smiles on their faces and the joy they express when the gift just filled that want or need spot on. It’s harder for me to receive gifts–not because I don’t like them. I just think that there are remnants of that sensation that every gift comes with a price. Sadly, that is often true in today’s world.
I know of one place where the free gift is truly free. That is one gift I love receiving over and over and over again.
It’s called Grace.