In this post from 2010, Sandi shares an experience that modeled grace in an unexpected place.
It was an interesting day. I hadn’t felt "on my game" if you know what I mean; I felt clumsy and out of sorts.
I left home in Oklahoma City to travel to Women of Faith. It seems like wherever I am traveling I have to go through Atlanta. Bill Gaither used to tell this joke: "When you die and go to heaven, you’ll have to go through Atlanta first."
I arrived at the Atlanta airport and searched the screens for my next flight’s gate. Realizing I had a bit of extra time, I decided to stop and get some coffee at Seattle’s Best. Perhaps this would wake me up and help me feel a little less "off."
I placed my order and as I waited, I reached for a coffee cup sleeve only to knock all 100+ of them onto the airport floor. I bent over to begin to gather them up. The nice lady handed me my coffee—at which time I dropped it and it exploded all over the same floor. I felt horrible and began to get napkins to sop up the mess. One of the workers came out with a mop and bucket and began to clean up BOTH my messes.
I quietly slithered away and began to head to my gate thinking to myself, "Just get to the gate and sit down. Just don’t touch anything else".
As I was trying to sneak away, I heard a voice behind me saying, "Ma’am? Ma’am?" I didn’t want to think he was talking to me because honestly, I thought if he was talking to me he would probably scold me for being so careless. Finally I couldn’t ignore him any longer since he was right behind me.
He was out of breath from running and said to me, "Ma’am? Why don’t you come on back… come back and have one on us." I almost cried right there in Atlanta airport. I followed him back and they fixed me another mocha "on them" and he quietly said to me, "Ma’am, believe me, this happens all the time. It’s no problem. Just enjoy your drink and have a nice day."
I’ve been thinking all day about that phrase "Come on back and have one on us." That’s really how grace should feel. When we mess up and make mistakes, when we are having an off day, God isn’t standing by ready to shake his finger at us in rebuke. He chases after us and probably says, "Believe me; I see this all the time. Come on back and have one on me." I love that about our God.
Come to me, all who are weary (and having a bad day) and rest… on me!
—Matthew 11:28 (SPV – Sandi Patty Version)
Broken on the Back Row, by Sandi Patty
This book is Sandi Patty’s heart-touching narrative of her years as an acclaimed recording artist balancing her role as adoring mother to four children, her fall from public acclaim, and the steps she worked through with her church and pastor to find forgiveness and peace – all under the harsh glare of national media attention.