I like free stuff. Yesterday I managed to score a coupon for a free bakery item at Caribou Coffee by filling out a survey on their service, plus nabbing a free hot cocoa from the gal who was doing test drinks for her certification. Then I used a handy coupon at Kroger for free golden oreos (double stuff!). And when the cashier at Old Navy neglected to ask me about opening up a charge account, I landed a $5 gift card.

Not too shabby for a one-day haul.

But none of my no-charge sugar rush compares to the ultimate freebie: God’s grace.

Free, yes. But as Deitrich Bonhoeffer reminds us: it’s not cheap.

That daily dose of grace I so desperately need doesn’t require me to go out and earn it. It isn’t contingent on whether I spend 12 minutes reading scripture or refrain from nagging my husband about the cobwebs hanging from our chandelier (we ARE rather past Halloween) or dispense words of wisdom to 2.5 friends during the course of the day.

It’s grace. By definition, I can’t earn it.

But it IS costly. It requires that I take it seriously. That I never forget God’s cost in the matter. That I place myself in a space to be changed, molded — frankly, to give up my self-ordained right to my own personal comfort zone.

Those free oreos don’t require much of me but a willingness to overlook the ingredient listing.

Grace requires nothing. And everything.

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