Brad.

This week at work, Brad visited.

Brad. The owner of the froyo store in which I am employed. The one who watches my fellow employees and I on the security cameras at the easy access of his phone. The one who takes screenshots of us when we’re being lazy in front of the camera and sends them to our manager. The one who we write lists of things to do in order to make Brad happy for his visitations. The one for whom we get on our hands and knees and scrub the floors with toothbrushes for. Braaaaaaad.

I exaggerated a little, but not much. Actually, the only exaggeration was the toothbrush thing.

Anyway, I heard a few days previous that Brad was coming in, and that everything needed to be perfect for his arrival. A list was made of every object in the building that needed to be thoroughly cleansed for Brad’s approval. Because nobody wants to be the unfortunate loser who upsets Brad.

Having completed some preparations for this sir, I soon found myself cutting brownies and watching this random man come in the back with a bunch of boxes of froyo lids. I just looked at him and then continued cutting brownies, because random people I don’t know seem to show up a lot and I usually don’t know how to respond to them. I didn’t really see a need to entertain the delivery man anyway, since BRAAAAAD was coming that weekend sometime.

My coworker asked him if he needed any help, and he said he had it, and so he went back outside to retrieve more lids.When he came back and my coworker left, he put more boxes on the floor and smiled all kindly and asked my name. When I told him, he said simply, “Nice to meet you. I’m Brad.”

I think I died. I was probably screwing something up as we spoke. And this guy was supposed to be scary. But he wasn’t. And before I knew it, he was randomly working next to me and making froyo mixes and asking about my church and prospective college for an hour.

It was weird beyond weird watching the man who usually watches me. He was busy making them mixes and apologizing for making a mess.I lived in constant fear of security cameras because of this guy? He was wearing hiking gear! And he was nice!

Moral of the story was this: I feel like a lot of us live in fear of God’s watchful eye. Like we know he’s watching us on his smart phone on them security cameras, so we don’t do bad things, because nobody wants to get fired for eating all the Reese’s. It’s as if we don’t know him sometimes, because he’s no one but an all-seeing authority just waiting for an excuse to take back the salvation he gave us

But that’s not him at all. He’s not just chilling up there, watching you on his phone when he gets bored late at night. He’s right there next to you, working beside you, helping you out, spending that time with you. That was kinda why Jesus came down here. Not to make sure we fulfilled the list of things we needed to do, not to make sure we followed the law perfectly, but to work beside us, to give us another chance, to help us. This is where the Brad analogy ends, I suppose. Jesus came to give you a reason to obey- love. Not fear. So knowing that, you can have confidence that when God’s watching you, he’s watching you with love, ready to help you out and give you Himself. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating. Love and fear cannot exist in the same vessel. Either you’re obeying Him out of fear or out of love, and it’s a conscious decision you have to make. You know this.

So anyway. I’m still not going to do bad things in front of the security camera. But just because I don’t wanna do bad things anyway. Right? Brad would still fire me if I did illegal things.

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