$20

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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23 comments

  1. Beautiful post! As I read it, I could not help but think of the verse, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Mt. 25:40). May God bless each of those men & draw them to Himself! Thank you so much for sharing this today. I was your neighbor at Wisdom Wed. this morning.
    Blessings,
    Joanne

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  2. So beautiful. How often those who have the least are the most willing to share and give all they have to another. What a lesson on giving and grace.

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  3. This is a fascinating story. I’d love to know the back-story now, how you came to know Jaison and his dad. Thank you for sharing with #TellHisStory. This is such an encouragement.

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    • Jaison was a part of our church family for many, many years. I have known his mom and dad since we lived in the same duplex as young couples. They are amazing… and Jaison went home to Jesus this spring; he yielded to temptation and died of an overdose. His brother, sister and parents are walking hard after the Lord. Such a privilege to know them!

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  4. (I don’t think my last comment posted so I’ll try again…sorry if it’s a duplicate.)

    I love what Jaison’s dad is doing. He’s meeting physical needs and spiritual needs of these young men. I pray for their receptivity to the Word and for their growth.

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  5. It’s wonderful that Jaison’s dad is helping these men and giving them hope. What a beautiful way to honor his son. God can change their lives ,but it often takes someone to introduce Him to them , by showing them God’s love in a real way, meeting their needs. Beautiful!

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  6. This really made me smile. What a gift – a treasure – for those men. To have their own copy of the book that will never lie, and to know that someone here on earth cares for them, too. My husband is on the Board of a mission here in town that provides low rent housing for men like this. It is important that we do not forget them, and that we show them God’s love.

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  7. What a sweet story. I’m sorry for the loss of Jaison, but what a brave man of faith his father is to share the love of Jesus in the midst of grief.

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