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The day God schooled me


Learning a lesson on grace at Tim Hortons Credit: buck82/Flickr/Creative Commons

Learning a lesson on grace at a coffee drive thru. Credit: buck82/Flickr/Creative Commons

I was at a Tim Horton’s drive thru, a popular coffee and doughnut shop in Canada. Our coffee maker died (may it RIP) and I needed my caffeine fix.

That’s when I saw a person in a white car in the drive-thru lane beside me. He had his window rolled down and was smoking a cigarette.

As a Cystic Fibrosis mama, that is a trigger for me. My daughter was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) at 23 days old.

The disease affects the body’s ability to produce sodium chloride, as a result a person’s mucous is very thick. This causes many problems, most seriously lung failure and the struggle to keep a healthy weight as it affects a person’s ability to absorb nutrients.

This means hours spent each day ensuring my daughter takes her many medications including the ones given by mask and her nightly tube feedings. I also need to perform physiotherapy on her multiple times in a day to loosen the mucous in her lungs to delay the progression of this terminal disease.

In addition, there are hours of doctor appointments, surgeries and multiple hospital stays (often in isolation).

I thought I had learned to accept the “life’s not fair” thing, but that man smoking in the car bothered me.

Maybe it was because I had just read about the little boy with CF, the same age as my six-year-old daughter, who had just passed away from cancer. I had prayed for him for two years!

It could have been the 13-year-old girl from our city who is in a hospital in another city undergoing tests to see if she is suitable for a lung transplant.

Maybe it was because I hadn’t had my caffeine fix yet. I am definitely not all that holy before my 2nd cup of coffee.

Regardless, it was the “old man” in me, seeing that smoker and allowing those judgmental thoughts and curses to linger in my mind.

It took a minute, but I remembered I had to let it go.  I know smoking is one of the toughest addictions to kick.

As I sat in the car waiting my turn, I continued listening to a recording of a preacher talking about allowing God to truly be Lord in our life and what it meant.

I pulled up to the drive thru window to pay, and was told I didn’t owe anything.  The car in front of me had paid for my coffee.

Yep, that smoker, with the rolled down window, driving the white car, had blessed me with a free cup of coffee.

Right then, the preacher was talking about how our heart needed to be in alignment with God’s heart of unconditional love…

I had just been told.  “Bless those that curse you.”

I had been a curser that just got blessed!

I absolutely love it when God politely says “smarten up kid!,” and gives me a free cup of coffee too.

He seems to understand that I hear Him more clearly when I have a coffee in my hand.

“But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you….But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. (Luke 6:27-28, 35)

 

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