Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Christmas Story

"Put It On My Account"

It was three days before Christmas.

A middle-aged lady came into the tire store where I work to get her free tire rotation, which comes with a vehicle inspection.

The tech gave me the completed ticket so that I could check her out.
"Be sure to notice the inspection report," he said.

The inspection report is very detailed.
This vehicle needs a lot of work.  
Tires and alignment. 
Front brakes and rotors. 
Rear brakes and rotors.
Wipers.

"Your vehicle needs some work," I explained to the lady.

Her eyes got big.  
"What kind of work?"

I started with the wipers, thinking I need to break it to her gently.

As I went through the list with her, I could see her shoulders start to sag.  The more I read, the more she slumped down.

"Can you tell me how much?"  I give her a rough estimate.  She slumped further.

I'm thinking, "Am I going to have to call the paramedics?"  I'm worried.

"Can you print this out for me?" she asked.  I worked up a completed estimate, giving her all the discounts I could think of. Still, it's a big bill.

 When she sees the completed bill, she just broke down and sobbed.

"I just lost my husband."  She has no money.  No way to get the money.

I put my arm around her gently.  I felt almost as down as she was.   Inside I'm crying "Lord, you've got to help this lady!"  Feeling so helpless.

I tried to wish her a Merry Christmas as she left, but it kind of fell flat.  I felt terrible.  "Lord, you've got to help this lady!  It's right before Christmas!"  

A local businessman was standing off to the side.  I didn't realize he had heard the whole thing.  He came up to me. 

"Do you think she's legit?"  he asked me.  "I mean, I know you see a lot of people trying to take advantage."  I explained to him that I have no doubts that she's legitimately in need. She didn't ask me for anything.

He looked up at me...

"Put it on my account."

I looked at him...

"Do you know how much this is?"  I showed him the bill.

"Just put it on my account."

I'm incredulous.
.
"Don't tell her who its from," he said with a wry smile.  "Secret Santa."

I called the lady and left a message for her to call back.  When returned the call, we gave her the good news.

"Are you sure?"

"Am I hearing you right?"

We assured her that she heard right, and set up an appointment for her to get the work done after Christmas.

Fifteen minutes later, the phone rang.  It’s her again.

"Are you sure?"  

"I don't have to pay anything?"  

No. It's a free gift.  No strings attached...

Joy!
...
As I've reflected on this incredible story since then, I've thought about what Christmas is all about.  

You see, you and I had a bill much greater than the lady with the broken-down car.

"Even when you were dead in sins..." 

Every hurtful act.  Every hurtful thought.

"For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost."

You and I couldn't pay.  
Lost.  
Without hope.

That's where the Christmas story comes in.  God came to earth to pay what you and I had no hope of paying.  Thirty-three years after the Babe in the manger, the price was paid on a cross of wood outside the Jerusalem city gates.

"...though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich."

"Put it on my account."

That's what Jesus did for me...and for you.

But what if the lady had said, "Thanks, but no thanks!  I can handle this on my own."

Crazy thought!  Why would she turn down the free gift?   No strings attached.  No way for her to pay on her own.

What about you?

The price has been paid.

"It is by grace you have been saved...through faith."

"Put it on my account."

Jesus paid it all.
All to Him I owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain.
He washed it white as snow.

He put it on His account...for you.   No strings attached.  

But you have a decision to make.  
Will you accept the gift that has so freely been given to you? 

Will you accept the free gift...this Christmas?

Wayne Nall Jr.


For another inspirational lift, check out my new book, "Grace In Shoe Leather." It's an amazing story of grace and forgiveness that has made a difference in the lives of so many. You can download it here: http://amzn.to/1wLL5Mw   P.S. It's FREE TODAY!!!!


Want to read more?  Here's links to some of my more popular posts:
Lincoln & Obama-Two Views of Welfare
TR on Lincoln-The Great Statesman
Reflections On 30 Years of Marriage-Part 1



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