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I have recently returned from a long-anticipated time of renewal in Mexico.  One day, as I walked the beautiful beach, I was approached by a peddler, trying to sell the tourists his wares.  Of course, this peddler appeared no different than the others I had encountered.

See, the peddlers were everywhere-trying to sell me sunglasses to replace the ones on my face; shoes, despite the fact I carried sandals in my hands; hats, although a cap already rested on my head.  My response was always the same: "No, thank you. I really don't want it."

But on this day, midway through my time of respite, a peddler approached trying to sell me a silver necklace.  Undefeated by my statement of "no thanks", this peddler persisted.  Again, I replied "no".  But still he persisted, this time following me down the beach.  I grew frustrated.  This guy was disturbing my peace as I quipped, "No, I really don't want it!"  His response: "C'mon, Lady. You don't even know how much it costs.  It's FREE!  Don't you want to buy it?  It's FREE!"

I've laughed about that encounter for several days.  And now, as I prepare for Lenten season, this story has taken on new meaning for me.  How many times have I failed to accept God's grace in my life, whether by holding a grudge or feeling contented with the  things I have accumulated or believing that the successes in my life are a result of my own tightly-held control?  Sometimes I'm so good at keeping my life just the way it is, that I turn away from what God is offering me.  Grace, love, peace - FREE!  C'mon, Lady.  Don't you want the grace I offer you?  It's FREE!  Thank goodness God is persistent!!

Blessings and peace to you as you journey.

Yours in Christ,  

~~Jennifer

02/18/04

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