[I have blogged at a number of different places previous to starting Sixteen Small Stones, and in an effort to consolidate my writing, I will be posting some of my previous content from elsewhere, here.]
The Savior’s Lemonade
Originally written August 8th, 2005
I am not a big fan of hot weather. In fact, I spend a good deal of summertime wishing it were springtime or fall-time. However, there is one thing that happens only in summer that makes the heat worth it to me: I love to see children sitting out on street corners, under umbrellas conscripted to parasol service and makeshift signs, selling lemonade, soda, cookies, or whatever.
While I have no specific memories of selling snacks on corners, I vaguely remember that I did so. But it is not the connection to my own childhood I love as much as it is a joy in the simple, honest, hope that shines in the beautiful faces of the relatively innocent as they peddle their wares–and the pained look of frustration at every single vehicle that passes without stopping to buy–and the renewed enthusiasm a single waylaid traveler brings.
I feel bad every time I pass them by without contributing to their cause. But whether I buy or not, the mere sight of child or two at the roadside, jumping up and down with a sign scribbled in magic marker on an awkwardly cut out piece of cardboard saves my soul: “Lemonade 25¢”
I see a shadow of my adult self in that little boy or girl with the scribbled advertisement. Like those children, my Father, provides me with everything; I live at his mercy though I do so ignorantly much of the time.
The cookies and lemonade I sell to make money are in reality His, not mine. He created them; he paid the price for them. And yet, I feel no compunction at keeping the money I make by selling what rightly belongs to Him. Often I naively believe that I somehow deserve it–that my almost insignificant efforts entitle me to it. Yet he lets me keep the fruits of my labor–so called–except for a tithe, to hopefully remind me of my indebtedness. He accepts my puny efforts as sufficient payment.
He could simply skip the lemonade stand step and give me the money He spent on cookies, but he doesn’t. He is wise. He knows that what I can learn through the struggle is far more valuable than the money he might bequeath.
We have been bought at a price–a terrible price. Like the child selling lemonade at the street corner, work we must, but our material success, and our eternal salvation, is by Grace alone, after an absurdly disproportionate “all” we can do.