I’m a bad borrower. I mean well, but I keep stuff too long.
Last week, a friend sent me this text:
“If you think of it, can you bring my Redeeming Love book to Bible study tomorrow? Thanks!”
I stared at my cell phone and felt a burning sensation creep into my cheeks. I still have that book?! Didn’t she lend me that, like, two years ago? No way—please tell me I gave it back.
So I tripped downstairs to the bookshelf. Sure enough, there it was, stacked on top of a pile of novels: Redeeming Love. Darn it! Worse yet, I found three other hijacked books whose rightful owners must be cursing my name.
And that’s not all.
My TV cabinet still holds a DVD lent to me in 2009.
My sister’s maternity jacket lives in my closet. I kept it through my last pregnancy—and hers.
Twice a year, our local library pardons overdue fines if we donate nonperishable goods. I mark this event on my calendar and hit the tuna sales at Festival.
Once, somebody lent me a paintbrush and I lost it. My husband found it stashed in an empty suitcase six months later. Don’t ask me how it got there. I’m still stumped.
Ugh! I don’t want to be a thief. I just can’t seem to get it together in this area. I used to berate myself for it, but over the years I’ve accepted this flaw, and now for the sake of all parties involved I’ll politely refuse whenever anyone offers to lend me anything. Really, it’s for the best. You need your can opener more than I do.
Yet understand this. Yes, I am a terrible borrower—but that does not make me a terrible friend.
I might hoard your things. But I won’t neglect your heart. I’ll handle your thoughts, your hopes, and your dreams with care. I’ll share your laughter and your sadness.
Because this little borrowing flaw of mine? It does not own me. None of my flaws can.
Only God gets that job.
“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life,” (Titus 3:5–7).
Do you have some quirks you can’t shake? Do you beat yourself up over shortcomings or social blunders? Maybe you’re the friend who’s always late. Or you’re notorious for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Maybe you forget birthdays, dinner plans, or names.
So what? Not a single one of us is perfect, and yet God chooses to love us. We can do the same for each other.
My friend did. I met her at the doors to Bible study last week with my eyes to the carpet and her book in my guilty hands. She laughed and pulled a gift from her purse—a fancy hairbrush for my daughters, just like the one belonging to her own daughter, which I’d admired the last time we visited. Of course she didn’t offer to lend me hers, smart woman. This brush was brand spanking new, still in the packaging.
Imagine that. I messed up, and my friend responded by giving me a gift I don’t deserve.
Who does that sound like?
My prayer for all of us is this: May you know the redeeming love of your Savior, and the kindness of friends who reflect his grace.