$125

i really felt she owed me.
it was her negligance after all.

the day the german shepherd attacked us, i went & found the home.
found the owners.
she was kind & apologetic.
said she had just moved in.
that her kids were used to letting the dog out to play
& that her dog was really nice.

i told her , no , my dog is nice.
your dog hurt my dog
& scared me to death.

she said she’d pay me when she could.
i sent dan back with the bill….even though i don’t think he wanted to go in the first place.

we went back multiple times & she was never home.
i realized her car was seldom in the driveway.

weeks passed as brinkley healed
weeks passed before i could run with him.
still no word from her
& definitely no money from her.

the other day as i was running by her home,
without brinkley who i will no longer take on our usual course just in case
i saw her car was parked in the drive way again.

i knocked on the door & waited.
as i was about to turn she opened the door.
i asked her if she was able to help with our bill.

she immeditately said she’d pay but didn’t have the money right then.
she began to tell me her story
& i really felt she was honest and sincere.

she had moved here recently for some health issues.
she told me she had found a temp job but really needed something full time.
she told me about her husband, not the father of her children, who had recently told them “i’m out of here”.

we talked about raising teenage daughters
we talked about what it’s like to be a single mom.
we talked about highschools & college
we talked about how much we both loved our dogs
we talked about the hospital where her daughter had gone for treatments was the same hospital in which i had worked since 1991
we talked about fear….

suddenly i felt like a bill collector.
like a bill collector with a face.
i felt the lord nudging me to tell her that she owed me nothing…

i continued to listen..

she talked about all the pain she had gone through in 2011.
honestly sounded like everything that could go wrong, had gone wrong in her world.

i shared about my own struggle with fear
i shared about how the Lord’s mercies really are new each day
& that even if our circumstance doesn’t change, He is always there.
& He promises grace. not grace for the future of the what-ifs
but grace for that day, for that moment.

she told me she felt that God had sent me to her that day.
we hugged
i told her that i wanted her to use the money she promised to reimburse me with, to use for her own needs.
she told me her word was good.
that she taught her children their word was all they had.

i don’t tell you this to make me sound like a great person.
$125 will not change the world.
but the freedom that comes when someone forgives you & releases you from debt….
that will change the world.

i finished my run & came home to everyone worried about how long i’d been gone
because i’m way behind in my half marathon training
& everyone knew i hadnt’ been running that whole time..
i was so excited to tell dan what had transpired.
that i had made a new friend
that i had forgiven her…whether she needed forgiveness or not, i needed to forgive her in my heart
& that i had told her not to pay us back.
it made him so happy.
he wouldn’t have asked for the money in the first place
& maybe i shouldn’t have either..
but the lesson i learned & the feeling of freedom even i felt after our divine appointment
was priceless