He came in slowly, head hanging down, eyes averted to the floor. Taking a deep breath, he squared his shoulders and told his dad the truth. “I ran a red light. I made the decision to hit the gas pedal, rather than the brakes, and it caught me. I saw the red light camera flash. I am going to get a ticket in the mail.”
They went to the web site, and there he was. You could watch his transgression on video. His face was clear. No doubts about who was driving or the timing of his acceleration. He was guilty, and you could replay the moment over and over again.
His dad watched the video, and looked at his boy. Without hesitation, he said, “I’ll pay the fine.” He counted out the cost of the ticket, paid the debt, and the screen now carries a note that says, “Paid in full.”
The boy didn’t deserve for his debt to be paid. He was guilty. It was irresponsible and dangerous. He could have been hurt. He could have made excuses. Instead, he brought his failing to his father, and his father covered him with grace. Not because he earned it. Not because it wasn’t a big deal, but because he is deeply loved.
My Jesus Resolution today is to be stunned by grace. I am just as guilty as that boy, and covered in just as much grace. I can bring my failings and faults to my Father, and each time He says, “I’ve paid the fine.” Grace is God’s radical, revolutionary, beyond-imagination answer to sin. My soul has “paid in full” written across its canvas in the blood of a Savior. Not because I’ve earned it. Not because sin isn’t a big deal, but because I am deeply loved.