I was just standing there, taking it all in, and then it happened. Our team was at the widow farm in Thailand purchasing some handbags, scarfs, and traditional jackets made by the hill tribe widows. These ladies weave these beautiful things by hand.
We buy them to help support their living. One of the orphan homes is located on this farm too.
So our group had purchased these products and then it happened. The women pointed to me and the other men and said they wanted to give us a jacket of our own. Yes, five men receiving these beautiful hand-made masterpieces. Jackets that literally take one week to weave. So, five weeks of hard work and one tenth of their income was being handed to me and the other men.
I didn't know what to do, in fact I wanted to pay for them. I had plenty of money to hand over. I felt like they deserved to paid for their hard work and that I should buy it, instead of just taking it for free. What it came down to was this; I couldn't wrap my mind around a gift that was one week's salary. I couldn't take it because it cost them too much. It was too much for this American to get it for free when I had the money to buy it.
And then the Spirit ripped my heart up and said, "Jim, take the jacket and this act of grace and shut your mouth." I must admit I stood there a while thinking of ways to drop the money on the table, so that I could pay them for it. Yet my American pride was in the way.
Then it hit me like a ton of bricks as the Spirit said to me again, "Jim this is Grace, this is the same kind of radical grace that salvation offers." But I wanted to earn it, yet I was just supposed to take and receive it freely
So on a mountaintop on the other side of the world, I learned why so many people say no to a salvation that is so free. They just believe it is too good and valuable of a gift for them, to do nothing but accept it for free. Especially after it cost the maker so much. Oh the Grace of God! Blown away by what God taught me today, on the other side of the world, in a jungle with a 15 dollar jacket.