To give someone a break is to give them grace. Everyone wants someone to give them a break. When you receive it you are grateful. Recently, my brother Jon gave someone a break. Jon has not had an easy life because of his choices. We both grew up with Christian parents who loved us, but had huge marital issues they never resolved. This created an unstable environment. For Jon, he coped by running with young people involved with drinking and drugs. He has known what it is to be desperate, to not know where your next meal comes from. He knows what it is like to be totally depend on a friend or stranger to give him a break. He can relate to those who hold up signs at intersections that say “Help”.

 

Recently, Jon noticed a couple sitting on the sidewalk outside of a hotel. It looked like they had just been evicted. Jon felt compelled to go up to them and asked the man “What’s going on?” The man got defensive and said “What’s it to you?”. He looked like a rough guy so Jon walked away. But then Jon sensed the Lord saying to him to go back again. Jon went up to him and said, “Hey I care” and gave him $20. The man was baffled. Jon said one more thing. “I care and will pray for you. Just wanted you to know Jesus loves you.” The whole environment changed! Afterward Jon reflected later than he thought this hardened street gang looking dude was baffled by a white due who cared. It was the carrying effort and not the speech that got to this guy’s heart.

 

Everyone needs a break now and then even if it doesn’t look like they deserve it. Of course, the very definition of grace is something given that is not earned nor deserved. Our world tends to evaluate people by their looks, charm and economic status. People may think that is it their own two hands that have given them all they have, but our very ability to make an income is given to us as a gift. Someone gave us the grace of time and effort to give us a “break”. Every job, every friend and every lover are gifts that we did not earn. It took the gift of a “give me a break” relationship.

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