The Great Redeemer

When I think about the word “redeem” I instantly think about my mother. At an early age, she learned to be frugal. The reason being she grew up during the Great Depression. You either improvised made it, or did without. She developed the philosophy of “It’s better to have it and not need it” than “Need it and not have it.” She lived that way for the rest of her life.

She never threw anything away. She saw use in everything, from aluminum pie pans to empty thread spools …she kept it. I used to tease her about which basement she stored it in [our house didn’t have a basement]. She would tell me the third one right next to the subterranean cavern. It got to the point that I started believing her. Where she had everything stashed away was a mystery. When she passed on my sister and I found stuff stored in places we didn’t even know existed.

Then one day she discovered couponing and redeeming labels, bar codes, and box tops for product vouchers. She went off the deep end. I can still remember boxes of can labels, bar codes, and box tops stored under my bed. The garage was full of boxes of it. She even had the neighbors saving it for her. It was filed away in order so that she could find what she needed easily. Almost every day, a package of some sort, whether it be a free voucher or the actual product itself, would arrive. She’d get a silly look on her face and then giggle. In my mind, I can still hear her.

She even joined a club dedicated to doing this. She was all the time trading labels and box tops with members of the club. She also saved S&H green stamps put out by the grocery store, Yellow stamps put out by another rival store, purchased detergent to get a free glass, and jelly for the decorated jars to be used as glasses. She did it all and got a kick out of it.

She also took couponing to the next level. She would have Dad drive clear across town to save a quarter on a jar of pickles, then drive back across town to save fifty cents on laundry detergent. Going shopping with her was an all-day adventure. Mom and Dad would drive twenty miles out of the way, fight traffic, and get totally frustrated in order for her to save $2 or $3 dollars, not realizing they were spending $5 dollars worth of gas to do it. They did it every week.

Our family called her “The Great Redeemer.” She didn’t care. It gave her something to do.

Just like the other Great Redeemer named Jesus. He, too, went out of His way to redeem us. He took on a human form, endured life on Earth for thirty-three years, was persecuted, ridiculed, horribly beaten, and then went to the cross for one reason. To redeem us from our sins. He loves us so much that He willingly gave His life for us. It is an unconditional love, a redeemer’s love. All He asks is that we accept Him. He will always be The Great Redeemer. It is what He does.

March 7, 2022