“I demand a new pair of jeans,” said the man holding a pair of Levi’s.
I had to ask, “What’s wrong with those?”
“They’re flawed. The fabric has come apart. See?” he replied.
I looked at the spot he was pointing to. “Sir,” I responded, “Those are ripped. You must have gotten them caught on something.”
“I did no such thing,” he insisted as he started stomping around displaying his anger.
I was about to enlighten this man that when denim rips, it does so in an “L” pattern, like the one on his blue jeans. But before I could get the words out of my mouth I heard, “Mark, I’ll take it from here.” The words were spoken by the store manager, Jim.
Jim looked at the jeans. His fingers rubbed across the ripped area feeling the loose strings. He then looked at the tag over the right back pocket taking in the waist size and the length. He looked the man square in the eyes, and said, “One moment.” Jim walked over to where we kept the Levis and he retrieved a brand new pair. When he returned to the counter he placed them in a shopping bag and handed them to the man. He smiled at him and said, “Here you go sir. Thank you for your business.”
I didn’t understand and started to ask Jim, “Why,” but Jim said to me, “Wait.” After the man left the small clothing store, in the small town, Jim turned and said to me, “Sometimes it is better to give a customer what they want, even when you know they are lying. You see, that man is satisfied. He knows he made a mistake, but he didn’t want to pay for it. He will return to do more shopping here.” I stood there, letting the words sink in, and then Jim said, with an old, wrinkled smile on his face, “And besides, I can send those jeans back and get refunded.” Jim was the man in charge, and Jim knew what could be done, and when.
Here’s the thing, all of us have made mistakes we don’t want to pay for. Some even deny it. God is the one in charge of everything. He will run his finger over the rip in your life feeling the loose disconnected strings. He will walk you over to a shelf where your new life sits. He will smile and offer it to you. You may be wondering how you can pay for it. Will your good deeds be enough? No, so how can you take it?
If you are feeling lost, depressed, forgotten, worthless, or hopeless, ask to speak to the one in charge. Receive his gifts of forgiveness and new life.