During our time in Paris, we began giving free manicures on the street as a way to share God’s love with others while gospel based skits were being performed just behind us. In the midst of sharing short testimonies, making friends, and attempting to speak many different languages, what I found most interesting was the way people responded to our manicure offer. Here were four girls with a small table, about 15 colors of nail polish, and a sign that said “free manicures”, however we received much skepticism.
As people walked by they would glance at our sign, but were careful not to make eye contact.
Some would stop and take pictures but refuse a manicure for themselves. And despite our sign saying “free” we had several people ask if they were REALLY free or even try to pay us. Each question had an underlying tone of “what’s the catch?”, not because these people were too stubborn to accept our gift, but because that is how we’ve been conditioned to react. It’s considered wise to guard ourselves against scams or too-good-to-be-true offers. Nothing is really free—and we certainly wouldn’t want to get caught in one of these scenarios at the risk of looking gullible.
Day after day went by with many people unwilling to accept our free gift. Then God revealed to me I often treat Him the same way. He went to the cross to save me, yet I regularly approach His presence in a skeptical manner. Subconsciously, I ask questions like: “What if His gift isn’t actually free? Why did He choose me? And am I doing enough?”
I am learning that searching for loopholes in the contract signed in Jesus’ blood will not make me better.
Distancing myself from the one thing in life that is genuinely free will not prove my cleverness. In all reality, I am convinced that Jesus is most excited when I boldly state: “I am here to accept my gift, thank you”! And because of that, I am working hard to be a thankful recipient.
Though the sacrifice made on my behalf is something I can never repay, God only asks for my acceptance in return. That’s it. There are no schemes or gimmicks to guard against the beauty of His love for us. He is 100% authentic and desperately desires for us to embrace the free gift of eternal life with gratitude and authority.
by Mari Petrous
Compassion Now DTS Student