Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Weren’t we all teenagers at one point in our lives?

Did anyone ever do anything they felt really bad about? (There’d better a resounding "YES" out there in Blog Land…)

Let me tell you about one of mine.

My dad and uncle owned a business together. At one point, they decided that it would be a good idea to lease company cars. My uncle was kind of a "hot shot" – so they decided to get two brand-new 1970 Pontiac Firebirds.

Yeah, I know!

My dad’s was a metallic champagne gold color, with a black hardtop, and awesome rims – (Notice that I said "rims" not "tires" – just making points with the men out there!)

So, one night I needed to borrow a car to go to a church party.

OK, I’m 16, the ink is barely dry on my driver’s license, and my dad offers to let me use HIS car! (I agree – WHAT was he thinking?!)

After the party, several of my girlfriends and I thought it would be "cool" to drive over and see a boy that I had a secret crush on – because I was behind the wheel of a "radically hot" car. We thought this was a great idea because after all, nothing screams "GOOD DECISION" like a car full of 16-year-old girls!

Time ran away.

When I finally headed home, my 10:00 PM curfew had disappeared in a teenage fog…

So now it’s almost 1:00 AM, it’s pouring rain, and I have to park the car in the garage. Our driveway was very steep, and Dad parked his car on the right-hand side of the garage – so you had to make a sharp turn at the top of the driveway, just past a retaining wall.

You KNOW what’s coming, don’t you?

Yup, I made that sharp turn, just a LITTLE early, and heard the most awful sound as "brand-new" Firebird met concrete block wall.

Man, it still hurts today.

I tried backing up…SCRAPE.
I tried going forward…SCRAPE.

The car was sorta stuck on the wall. In a panic, I finally just gunned the engine and the car leaped forward, almost running into the garage! I got the car parked, and looked at it.

There was a HUGE dent, and massive gashes right through the paint, all along the whole side of the car. OH DEAR!

I quietly entered the house, so I wouldn’t disturb anyone’s sleep. OK, OK, yes…I was trying to sneak in – (you guys are awful strict out there…). I was almost to my bedroom when I noticed my mom sitting alone in the dark, shivering with fever and chills from the flu, waiting up for me.

I didn’t get much sleep that night.

The next morning I got up early, bringing my little savings passbook (with all $200 in it), to confess to my dad what I had done to his car.

He told me how disappointed he was in me. But, he told me to keep my money – he would "take care of it." Truth be told, I wanted him to yell at me, to have the reaction that I thought my terrible offense deserved. I wanted him to teach me a lesson.

Well, I DID learn a lesson that night. I learned that sometimes you don’t get what you deserve. I learned that sometimes forgiveness trumps punishment.

It makes me think what it would be like if I was able to sit at the foot of the cross – knowing what I know today. I can picture looking up at Jesus, so very grateful for what He's doing for me – of course. But also sorta wanting Him to yell at me, to tell me what a terrible person I am, to be angry and vindictiveto almost want Him to give me what I deserve.

Because that might be easier than seeing the look of wistful sadness in His face – the forlorn look of disappointment in His eyes. The unexpected, and oh so undeserved, look of kindness…

And my overwhelming sense of guilt.

But Jesus did not condemn – He did not judge.

He forgave me – told me to keep my life.

Whispered to my spirit, “I’ll take care of it.”

Forgiveness has a face,
Mercy is finally understood
in outstretched arms,
Grace is undeserved
and Love
makes no sense.
It is just there
to be embraced.

© Sharon Kirby
January 29, 2011

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”


  1. Hi Sharon
    Excellent post, thank you, I have a post in my mind about families, have to find the right words, or pray the Holy Spirit will give them to me. Love your little verse at the end. Hugs Nita.

  2. Hi Sharon -

    Thank you for this. It was a lesson indeed.
    Warmth came to my heart for your father's love for you...

    How noble of you to bring your $200.00 "offering."

    A great reminder, Sharon, that we cannot thrive without the love, forgiveness, grace and mercy of our Lord. Thank you, Father, so much for your longsuffering.

    Sidebar: Are you a better driver now, Sharon?

  3. Oh thank goodness for God's grace. You are a master storyteller Sharon. You drew me and I couldn't help but laugh at your misfortune. But it's a perfect illustration of God's gift to us. Love this line...sometimes forgiveness trumps punishment.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Don't panic. Above poster was just me. I have a throwaway blog that I use when I want to dink with a template and stuff like that. I was accidentally still logged in to that one.

    What I said as my Super Alter Ego was that I loved it and had my hands cupped over my eyes as the story unfolded in that, "I don't dare look but want to peek" move.

    I agree so much that at times I wish he would give me the lecture that I deserve. (OK, the whippin' that I deserve, too.)

  6. Beautiful post! :) I love how you changed the story into a story of forgiveness. :)

  7. His love, mercy, forgiveness...I shudder to
    think where we'd be without it. Thanks
    for sharing your story! I had a gorgeous
    1970 Pontiac Firebird too. Mine was a
    warm beige with a deeper brown hardtop.

  8. I like the way you told of your story with your father and combined it with Jesus again. You had a great dad and he taught you about a great Lord. sandie

  9. Good, good illustration...as a parent it hits home, as a Child of Christ it also hits home.

    Oh laughing at the rims instead of tires...so know that, with five boys!
    Thanks for the good lesson

  10. Wow! Almost the exact same thing happened to me when I was younger. My dad did just what yours did and I walked away with that same powerful lesson that still impacts me today. Thanks for posting this. What a loving Father we have.

  11. What a wonderful post Sharon. I am so thankful that He whispers to us that He will take care of it!

    How wonderful of your dad dealing with everything so well.. Great story!

  12. Nita - Thank you. I know that the Holy Spirit will be there for you. You always seem to say just EXACTLY the right words!

    Sandra - Yes, the LOOOOONGsuffering of the Lord! How grateful I am for that. Am I a better driver now? Yes, thankfully. Though since this one incident happened, I've had a few other "mindless" little accidents! But NOT for a long time!

    Wanda - I'm glad you chuckled. We have to be able to laugh at some of the "dumb" stuff we do in our lives, don't we? How thankful I am that God's grace covers the "big" stuff we do in our lives!!

    Pink Azaleas - For the record, I didn't remove this comment! It's just Debbie in disguise!! Read her comment...

    Debbie - First of all, thank you for clarifying the Pink Azaleas fiasco! HA! I did have a moment's "pause" there - wondering what awful thing someone had to say that they regretted!! Aren't I just SO predictable?! Glad you liked the story - glad you peeked! Truthfully - I really AM glad that I don't get what I deserve - I don't think I'd live to tell the tale!

    Katie - I'm glad you liked it. Forgiveness is indeed a very powerful thing. And when you get YOUR driver's license, PLEASE be smarter and more careful than I was!!

    Sandy - How fun! What happened to your Firebird? It's a good thing you never loaned it to me!! Merciful forgiveness - sometimes we experience a taste of it through people. But, it is but a shadow of the wondrous Mercy and Grace of a Savior who said, "I'll take care of it."

    Sandie - Glad you liked the story. This was one of those times when my dad did a wonderfully kind thing, and I did learn from it. It also taught me that I ought to be patient with my own children. I learned so much more about God when I became a parent, didn't you?

    Janette - So...you got the "rims" thing!! :) I can't tell you how that got drummed into my head - "MOM...they're NOT tires..." As far as our Heavenly Father goes, I don't know how He puts up with us sometimes, do you? But I'm SURE GLAD He does!!

    Melissa - OK, I'm glad I wasn't the ONLY one who did some "damage" when they were young! And good for your dad, too - for doing the right thing. God doesn't excuse our sins - but He wondrously provides a way to have them removed completely. Awesome!

    Nicole - My dad was a pretty strict guy, so I was rather surprised when he handled this one so calmly. I think he knew how badly I felt - and that no punishment would be worse than the one I was giving myself with regret and sorrow. Is there anything more wonderful than a Savior who whispers that He loves us like He does?

    GOD BLESS - drive safely!!


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)