I was selling my handmade jewelry yesterday at the WINGS OK Market Day (an organization that helps special needs children and adults). The jewelry I make is to help raise money for the Voice of the Martyrs – a Christian non-profit organization that brings Bibles to restricted nations (about 52 of them on the list now). So, the business model I have doesn’t really fit the secular model… it’s based on ministry, for ministry. As a Christian, I have to believe that all belongs to God and that you are merely a steward for Him.
So, I tend to give away almost as much jewelry as I sell. I see that as a part of sharing the grace and also bounty God has given me. It is an interesting social experiment when it comes to the real Business Marketplace.
Yesterday, a sweet young lady around 13 years old came by to peruse my jewelry. She asked me questions that implied she wanted to know more about the process of making jewelry. So, I spoke to her for a bit until her mom yelled at her to come join the rest of the family. She and I had just started getting into the conversation, so she reluctantly left. I invited her to swing by, if she had permission from her parents.
She actually came back after about 30 minutes. We talked some more and she kept touching a tiny pair of lavender earrings. When her mom & dad stopped by, she pointed out the earrings to them. Her mom actually yelled at her and said “you only have two dollars to spend – not gonna cover it!” The girl put the earrings down and kept her eyes downcast. Since I pray for moments like these, I quickly grabbed the earrings, placed them in a bag and handed them to her. She said “I don’t have enough.” I told her it’s a gift. Her face beamed like the sun!
She ran to her parents (they had walked off already) and a heated argument ensued a short distance from me. I could tell by their body language that this was not a good thing. The girl came up to the booth and handed me her crumpled two dollars. I smiled at her and told her “I’m sorry – you can’t pay me for those. They were a gift to you.” She looked at her mom and her mom was not happy. The mom said “yes, she took those earrings and now she has to pay you.” To which I replied “No, those were a gift to her. No charge and no strings attached.” Her mom said the magic words… “Why?”
I told both of them that this is a business of grace. The Lord blesses me and I am then able to bless others with His grace. There is no cost associated with grace, only a joyful acceptance… and what a lesson that is for each of us, for it is not what we do that makes us children of God, but it is all that Jesus has done for us on the Cross.