I received a crazy gift last week. It almost seems wrong that they gave it, maybe that's why it touched me deeply and still does.
Last Wednesday I discovered that the lock was broken and my bike was stolen from the garage next to the manse where we live. I felt the predictable range of emotions - angry, unsafe, and sad that something my wife had carefully saved for and bought, something I had taken good care of and gotten much use and enjoyment from, was now some intruder's booty.
I woke early Thursday morning with it on my mind. I was choosing forgiveness, I was choosing to praise God, but I felt bummed. I mentioned it over coffee at seminary that day, and I made a brief facebook post - "just found my bike was stolen L. God is good J."
By Friday I had moved on, but the secretary at school told me after lunch, "Come to my office, I have an envelope for you." She gives me this envelope tagged "David Mitchell c/o Edinburgh Theological Seminary" and inside is an anonymous note of sympathy and 150 pounds.
I cannot remember who I talked to about the bike, but I'm standing in the hallway with tears in my eyes and all I can figure is some cash-strapped student has just made a huge sacrifice so they could send the message, "God cares." I am so humbled when I think what they must have gone without just so they could communicate love, and
expecting insisting on no recognition in return.
Who does that kind of thing? Crazy people. I'm thinking, "you really should have kept the money. I'll make it without a bike. You probably needed it more than me." But I'm also very grateful they did it, because of the bike, yes, but more, because of how I met God in that costly gift, and how their example summons me out of my own self-centredness, and into that kind of crazy, humble, faith-filled servant's heart.
Friend, if you are reading this, thank you.
By the way, the 'crazy' tag is in my head because in Practical Theology (PT) class this month I read Francis Chan's book Crazy Love - I recommend it - a great read to stir your heart for Jesus. PT is one of four classes I am privileged to take at Edinburgh Theological Seminary... how amazing to have a pit stop here to be equipped for the next season of ministry. I'm also loving Church History, Old Testament and especially - Greek! Agnes says I'm a geek.