Paid In Full

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In the late seventies we planned a camping trip with my husband Jerry’s first cousin Alan, and his wife Debbie. We were to meet at the campground at Stone Mountain, in North Carolina. Alan gave Jerry a twenty-dollar bill to help pay for the food we’d buy for the trip. I know. You’re thinking, you can’t buy much for twenty bucks these days, but back then twenty bucks was worth a lot more.


For some reason Alan and Debbie didn’t make it to the campground. So we were left with Alan’s twenty bucks. Through the years at family reunions we’ve joked about the fact that we own them a meal. This past spring I told Debbie that if we were ever going to get our debt paid they were going to have to come up to our camper at the river. I threw out a couple of open weekends that I had and she picked one and we put it on our calendars. After all the years of planning a get-to-gather it was finally going to happen. Or, was it?


July 27th soon arrived and my husband and I anxiously awaited the collectors arrival. We had our junkyard RV all set up for them. We had even laid plans to take them out for a nice meal. We would finally have them paid back. As time elapsed on Friday I began to wonder if something was wrong. Sure enough, around five-o-clock my cell phone rings. On the other end is a distraught Debbie. It seemed Alan was stuck at work for an extended period of time and she didn’t know when he’d get home.


I calmed her down and told her we’d look forward to seeing them the next morning. The New River would still be there and the floats were ready and waiting. All the while I was wondering if this debt would ever get paid.


Sure enough around noon on Saturday our cousins showed up. We relaxed on the porch for a while then we donned our swimsuits and headed about three miles up river. What a relaxing time we had floating down the New. We talked, and laughed as if over thirty years had not passed. It was as if we had gone back in time and picked right up on our previous camping trip plans.


A sound reminder that the year was not 1978 was Debbie and Alan’s twenty-eight year old son, Zack with girl friend, Chelsea in tow. I was overlooking the few age changes in the four of us and was almost feeling twenty something again, but then there was Zack. Oh well, a girl can dream of still being young can’t she? What a wonderful time we had that weekend. Sometimes family is just family, but then there are those who seem much closer than kin, because they are friends.


I ponder on the years that have passed and other debts that have been paid like mortgages, and car and land payments. I think back to a time long before Alan, Debbie, Jerry and myself made those camping plans. Way back over two thousand years ago when a man named Jesus willingly placed his hands and feet on a wooden cross and allowed soldiers to pound wooden spikes into them. Jesus didn’t have to do that you know. He could have called for His father, or ten thousand angels to lift Him down from that cross and spare Him from the pain He was bearing.


But He didn’t. He loved us, all of us, every man, woman and child in this whole entire world enough to die the most painful death a person can experience. He shed His own precious blood for every last one of us. His blood covered all my sins and left me debt free. What a wonderful feeling to know that no matter what kind of financial shape I’m in the most important debt I’ll ever owe has been paid in full. May you all experience the joy of being a child of the King?



An excerpt from, The Color of My Heart.


In a weak voice, Nelda spoke, shifting her eyes to make direct contact with his. “Come closer, Tam. Do you know Jesus?”

The question surprised Tam, so it took him a few seconds to respond. “Yes, I know who Jesus is.”

“No, I mean do you really know Him? Do you believe He died for you, was buried in a sealed tomb, and then arose after three days? Do you believe that He loved you enough to suffer the slow and excruciating pain of being crucified? Do you believe He asked forgiveness for the ones who had nailed Him to that cross?” Nelda stopped for a minute, as if she had to muster all her strength to finish, her eyes never leaving Tam’s.

“Do you believe that you are one of those people who helped pound the spikes into his hands and feet?” Nelda didn’t wait for an answer, but continued. “I believe I am one of those who took a turn pounding in the nails. Every one of my sins, past and present, drove the spikes deeper and deeper into his flesh. Why would He do that, Tam? Why suffer and die for pitiful sinners like you and me? I’ll tell you why, Tam: forgiveness, that’s why. If Jesus can forgive us for what we do to Him and to each other, who am I to deny forgiveness to anyone?



Matthew 26:53

Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?




{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Debbie August 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Sarah….oh how I long for another day on the river with you a Jerry. Trust me, there was never a debt to be paid by you guys. Your love and friendship is the greatest gift Alan and I could dream of having. After all these years it’s like no time has passed!
Thank you for a fabulous time and we WILL be back!
Love you dearly.
Deb

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