It’s called Five Minute Friday. Each week, we write freely on a one-word prompt. Then we link up at the amazing Kate Motaung’s site. It’s a flash mob of writers- having fun and sharing their take on one word. This week’s prompt is FREE. 


“Is this free?”

Her big brown eyes grew wide as she pushed the CD in my face. Sweat, sugar, and water balloons had plastered her blond bangs to her forehead. Her voice was a bit too loud after our “God’s Plan 4U” concert.

I switched my focus from her face to the pink jewel case.

FREE? My mind flashed to the hours spent hanging decorations, gathering supplies, organizing volunteers, and burning those CDs. That little girl didn’t know she was holding the blood, sweat, and tears of many hard-working VBS volunteers. I would never let on how tired and sore I was. She would never understand all that was spent for that digital give-away.

I sat down on a chair next to her and asked her if she liked VBS. “Oh, yeah!” she said.

“What did you learn?” I asked. I took the CD from her hand and rubbed my fingers along the shiny plastic.

She watched my fingers for a few seconds, then answered with her version of that lesson’s memory verse, “I learned that Jesus is the way, and the life. Oh! And the truth. No one gets to God without Jesus.” He voice had grown quieter, but steadier with each phrase.

Exhaustion allowed my tears to come quickly. I handed her the disk and wiped them away before she could see.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

“I’m so glad you came,” I said and pushed her hair off of her skin. “Yes, sweetie. You can keep that CD. It’s yours. I hope you enjoy it!”

I stood and raised my arm for a high-five.

She jumped to clap my hand, smiled, and ran off, ponytail swinging.

As I finished cleaning up, I thought about how sometimes things are free just because they’re free.

But the best things cost more than the receivers can ever understand.

Like a music CD etched with truth and life, and a cross holding the same.


18 thoughts on “Free

  1. Marie July 16, 2015 / 10:32 pm

    I’ve got no words, my friend. Bless you for pouring yourself into the lives of those kiddos. There are no doubt angels rejoicing in Heaven over those who have become His children under your care.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Meghan Carver July 16, 2015 / 10:33 pm

    Beautiful story! Good job with all your hard work on VBS, and I love your application of the prompt “free.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser July 16, 2015 / 10:48 pm

    Love this, love this, LOVE this!

    I could see the high-five at the end.

    You’re good. Oh, yes…you can tell a story, and win a heart.

    FMF #7 today. Your neighbour!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen Brown July 17, 2015 / 4:49 am

      Andrew- Thank you so much for this encouragement. It’s very appreciated.


  4. Katha July 16, 2015 / 11:46 pm

    Beautiful story, Karen! Glad you served and got a glimpse into someone finding freedom – what a privilege! Happy Friday to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen Brown July 17, 2015 / 4:50 am

      It is a privilege to serve and to get such a glimpse. Thanks, Katha!


  5. betsydecruz July 17, 2015 / 12:40 am

    I’m with Andrew above, karen! You’re good! You know how to tell a story, Girl! This is beautiful. We’ll never know either how much our gift of salvation cost Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen Brown July 17, 2015 / 4:50 am

      Betsy- No. We’ll never know. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such kind words.


  6. helloredds July 17, 2015 / 8:13 am

    What a great picture of God’s grace freely given! I love your story! I can see that child’s face in my mind~

    Thanks for sharing it today on Grace and Truth… that’s where I found you.

    Hope you have a blessed weekend,


  7. Ruthie Gray July 17, 2015 / 8:23 am

    Yep. The best things cost more than the receivers will understand. And that one sentence, my friend, struck a chord and lit a match to the truth that Christ’s death was something I can never fully understand, but I am free because of it. What a beautiful, wonderful way to express this through your story, Karen. You never cease to amaze me, yet point directly to our Father.


  8. Ina Library July 17, 2015 / 11:46 am

    Wow, what a beautiful, wonderful analogy!! We feel beaten down and often do good work that goes thankless, but moments like those are redeeming and remind us of our relationship with God!! What a blessing to hear God’s message in such a simple way. I’m going to meditate on this reflection today. Thank you for sharing!!!


  9. samcitty July 17, 2015 / 1:16 pm

    Very moving story. Children are so perceptive and learn so much in such a short amount of time. Blessings to you!


  10. Amy M July 17, 2015 / 3:56 pm

    What a great story! And thank you for all the hard work on VBS. I know it’s a tough job, and I know I’m sooo grateful to the moms at my church who make it all work.


  11. Holly Barrett July 18, 2015 / 6:53 am

    Great story, Karen! So true that we can’t know the true cost paid for us and I pray that we never take it for granted!


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