He withdraws $120 from Jaison’s Memorial Fund and carefully places one $20 in each of six brand spanking new Bibles he had bought specifically for that day. And then he smiles. 

It’s been four weeks since Jaison died. His bed is empty, his shirts piled up in the corner still smell like him. The pain is raw, but grace is abundant. Every day is a new opportunity to cling to the great and faithful Shepherd.

And today, a few ex-cons whom Jesus rescued gather to celebrate the reality of a new life with God, right here, in the home where Jaison grew up. They are a bizarre mix of tattooed older men who never  grew up, young ones who never were given a chance, middle of the road ones who just never cared. But they all met with Jesus, and God has given them hope. Hope that they might make it. Hope that they might have a chance. Hope that love is for real.

“I’m so glad that you all came,” Jaison’s dad says.

“I wanted to tell you about how important this little book is.” He picks up the pile of Bibles and begins to give them each one.  John, TJ, Herbie, Mike, Ben. “Because that’s the only book that’s always going to tell you the truth. That will provide answers for you. That will offer you life when there is none all around you. That book, it’s full of treasures. And provision. And seed. This book, it really is a treasure.”  He hands the last Bible to Andy, a young adult full of scars on his face.

“And I want to encourage you to read it. Really read it. To open it and study it. To eat its words like it’s real food. Because it really is. And because there are treasures in it. Real Treasures.”

The room is quiet. The men sit awkwardly.

But in the awkward silence, these hardened grown men are almost smiling, holding their Bibles like they would a newborn baby, with awe and delight.

And Jaison’s dad smiles.

His Jaison is gone, but he knows he just gave these guys a key for life down here.  These guys who don’t even know where they will sleep tonight. Or if they will eat. These guys who have criminal records and very little chance of getting a good job. These guys whose families suffered so much that they cut them off. These guys whom we call scum.

Andy squirms in his chair.

“Hey, Mister, I kind of need shoes,” he says, eyes looking down. “Do you know where I could get me some real cheap?”

Jaison’s dad looks down at Andy’s feet. Yes, he needs shoes.

“Well, I guess now is as good a time as ever to see what the book says about that, isn’t it?” he says.

The men fidget.

TJ is the first one to open his brand new Bible. And the $20 bill falls out.

“Wow!”

And Andy, he just stares.

TJ picks up the $20 bill off the floor and hands it to Andy.

“I guess you gonna need this for them shoes.”

And Andy, he just giggles like a girl.

And Jaison’s dad, he just smiles.

“That book, it really does hold treasures,” TJ says.

Cultivating Thankfulness with Ann

one thousand#680 An afternoon with my son and his wife

#681 My daughter success at work

#682 Amazing grace to fast

#683 Success in my first life coaching job

Sometimes, I link up with any or all of these wonderful writers: Hearts 4 HomeSDG,  Hearts Reflected, WLW, EOA, Things I can’t say, Growing HomePlay Dates with GodMonday Musings, Hear it on SundayInspire Me Monday, Tell me a Story, The Better Mom, a Mama’s StoryInto the WordIn and Around Mondays,OYHT, Gratituesday, Titus2Tuesdays, ExtraordinayLessons from IvyDenise in BloomSweet BlessingsFaith Filled Friday, Finding JoyWholeHearted Home, Mom’s the Word,

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