Borrowers all

Posted on Wednesday 10 June 2009

An good friend I had dinner with a few weeks ago reminded me on the way out of the restaurant that I still had a borrowed book of his…after, oh, about three years. He even remembered the title, and when he said it, I remembered the cover and contents - but after multiple moves and untold cartons of tightly packed books, I couldn’t honestly say whether it was still in my possession. (I didn’t tell him this, but I panicked briefly, wondering if I might have sold his tome to Half Price Books along with some of my own, by mistake!)

A few days later (to my great relief) I located God’s Secretaries, and let him know it was coming home soon.

Then I started thinking of all the other borrowed things I possess. Borrowed sweaters and hats, borrowed bowls and coffee mugs and spoons, and even a borrowed painting (although if I keep it hanging in my dining room long enough, its status might change from “indefinite loaner” to “permanent possession”). And then I realized that I had a few items of my own “outstanding” as well.
But honestly, I’m okay with that. Maybe because I know that I’m a borrower at my very core, and always will be.

I borrowed righteousness, when I had absolutely none to my name.

I borrow grace, every day. (More truthfully, every minute of every day.)

I’ve borrowed strength when mine is waning, and hope when I couldn’t seem to muster much of it on my own.

I borrow power when I am weak, wisdom when I am confused, and courage when I am fearful. I even borrow rest when I cannot seem to stop, and peace when I am troubled.

The gracious “loaner” of all these things never hesitates, never grumbles, and never calls in his markers. None of this stuff is mine, and yet he makes it available as if it were. I say shyly, “Could I please…” and he whispers, “As you wish.”

So if you see me in possession of any of these things, you must understand that they are not mine. They’re his. He is the gracious giver of all that is good, true and beautiful – and we are borrowers, all.

Therefore as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…and be thankful. (Colossians 3:12-15, NIV)

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