Undeserved grace and forgiveness…

As a young teen, I was really super energized.  I was always needing to run around, do stuff, be active.
Sometimes I think it drove the people around me a little bit crazy.
Sometimes I did things just to rile them up, and other times it was just me needing to blow off energy.  A bored, overly energized 14 year old is a bad thing.

There was a week when a friend of mine and myself found ourselves in this situation.  Nothing to do and nowhere to go.  We started off vandalizing a local business.  We didn’t get caught, so a couple days later we hit up another place.  Nothing very serious; in our minds at least.  Our third and fourth offences were where we really created havoc, ultimately ending up causing several thousands of dollars in damage.
Like most repeat offenders, we did get caught, and were charged with 4 counts of vandalism.  I was scared and ashamed of what I had done.  My parents were devastated and confused as to why I would have done the things I did.

My parents were not very educated or comfortable with our legal and court systems, so I talked to an older mentor of mine about what had happened, and whether he could help me out.  The first thing he suggested I do, was write up an apology letter to each of the businesses I vandalized, and he would set up appointments for me to personally present it to them.  For as brutally hard as this was, I did it.  I sat across a table from each of these 4 business owners and apologized for my reckless actions.  I never asked for forgiveness, but each and every one forgave me, and gave me advice and hope on how to improve my life from this mess I had made for myself.

I still had heavy consequences to pay, but the undeserved grace and forgiveness extended to me by each of these people is something I have never forgotten.