“It’s such a gloomy day,” Pepe was talking to himself as he walked in the park. “Gloomy, gloomy, gloomy…” He was walking heavily, as if all his energy had drained from his body.
“I’ve lied to friends…” Pepe sigh.
“I’ve not had enough faith…” Pepe mumbled.
“I’ve judged people…” Pepe rolled his eyes.
“I’ve been a bully…” Pepe slapped his forehead.
“I’ve disobeyed my parents…” Pepe’s eyes watered with tears of sadness.
“I’ve not had patience…” Pepe twisted his mouth.
“I’ve…” Pepe wanted to say something else, when suddenly a dog that was being walked in the park started barking angrily at him: Woof! Woof! Woof!
“That’s it! I’m doomed! I’m not lovable. How can God possibly love me? I’m not worth it!” Pepe sat sadly on a brick bench and closed his eyes. “I can’t stand myself!”
Poof! The Three Musketeers made themselves visible.
“Remember our grace, Pepe!” The Father said softly with compassion.
“You have to dive into our grace and not just simply swim in it,” Jesus looked Pepe in the eye.
“I don’t see a lake, a river, or a pool near by…” Pepe was lost in his guilt.
“Ha! Ha!” laughed the Holy Spirit.” Jesus was speaking figuratively, Pepe.”
“Oh…I see…” Pepe said, beginning to come out of his gloomy fog.
“You’re so caught up in your guilt that you’re not seeing how much we love you and how awesome you are to us,” the Father told him.
“But, how can it be? I’ve been bad, bad, bad!” Pepe wanted to cry. “I’m no saint!”
“Let’s describe a saint as a sinner who has been forgiven” Jesus lovingly smiled.
“It’s good that you repented, Pepe. It’s also good that you talked it out loud. There’s freedom in recognizing and repenting of our mistakes. We know that you love Jesus, and you’re unconditionally and completely loved by us.” The Holy Spirit comforted him. “Remember this, ‘…Christ Jesus has come to show us the kindness of God. Christ our Savior defeated death and brought us the good news. It shines like a light and offers life that never ends.’ [2 Timothy 1:10]”
“Our grace is so powerful that it can restore people to life, fill empty souls, and give hearts a purpose,” the Father added.
“And lots of joy and energy too!” Jesus winked at Pepe.
“So, it’s okay if I continue being bad as long as I repent afterwards?” Pepe asked.
“No, no, no!” The Musketeers said in unison.
“Remember what I told you some time ago: The more you have God in your heart, the more you’ll start thinking and acting like us Musketeers,” Jesus answered. “Remember what I also told a repentant woman many years ago: ‘…you may go now, but don’t sin anymore.’ [John 8:11] ”
The Three Musketeers then sang to Pepe, “Grace is our gift to you! Grace is our gift to you! So when you fall, pick yourself up, yup! Just embrace this grace!”
“Sweet!” Pepe started dancing. He felt as if a heavy burden had been lifted from his body. He suddenly had so much energy, and felt that he could do anything in the world!
“God’s grace rocks!” Pepe yelled, and danced some more in excitement.
This story is based on ideas from the Bible: Ephesians 2:8-9 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 Revelation 1:5