Free Stuff

Freezing rain last night. An acquaintance from years past walks up the icy driveway this morning to inquire about an old claw foot bathtub. We talk for precisely three minutes about one of the most difficult problems I’m facing now. Three minutes, tops. And yet, somehow, that’s all I need. In a better frame of mind, I’ll return the favor to someone else.

It may be that we have lost our ability to hold a blazing coal, to move unfettered through time, to walk on water, because we have been taught that such things have to be earned; we should deserve them; we must be qualified. We are suspicious of grace. We are afraid of the very lavishness of the gift. But a child rejoices in presents!

Madeline L’Engle, Walking on Water


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