This, from Jack Gilbert’s The Lost Hotels of Paris, settled in my soul this morning:

“The Lord gives everything and charges

by taking it back.  What a bargain.

Like being young for a while….”

It occurs to me that that the referenced exchange is the ultimate bargain – yet one I don’t fully appreciate.  I get what the Lord gives me free of charge.  The only “charge” is that someday, I have to return it.  Say my next door neighbor has a lawnmower, and I don’t.  Every time I need to cut my grass I borrow his lawnmower.  One day, I neglect to return it.  He rings the doorbell and asks if he can have HIS lawnmower.  When, on God’s green earth (as my mom used to say) would I ever be justified in not letting him have HIS lawnmower back?   Or maybe I could think of it this way.  I go to the store to buy a lawnmower, but the salesperson tells me to just take it, free of charge, but I have to bring it back when he calls me.  Some decades later, I get the call.  Do I return with gratefulness?

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