“From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” (Galatians 6:17).
“What’s that?” Sarah asked as she sat by her grandfather on the couch. Across the small living room the fireplace shone brightly, sending beams of warm light over the rug.
“Oh, this little ol’ scar?” Grandpa responded, examining the area of his upper left arm where Sarah was pointing. “I got that while I was on the police force. Somebody decided that he didn’t like the fact that I was trying to stop him from committing a crime, so he shot me.”
The girl frowned. “Did it hurt?” “Yes. A lot!”
“What happened to the guy with the gun?”
“He went to jail.”
“I’ll bet you were happy about that!”
Grandpa shook his head slowly from side to side. “Not really. It made me sad to think that I couldn’t help him live a better life.”
“He shot you, Grandpa! He shot you! You’ve got the scar to prove it!”
“Well, yes. He did fire the gun. But I’d rather live in freedom with a scar than live in prison without one. Wouldn’t you?”
Sarah nodded slowly. “Why do bad people hurt good people? Why do they make scars?”
The man frowned. “I guess bad people don’t like good people,” he said. “Maybe they’re jealous. Maybe they think to themselves, That good person is making me look bad. So I’ll hurt him, and perhaps he’ll become bad like me. Then I won’t be alone in my badness.
“Jesus has scars,” Sarah said softly. “The preacher at church said they are in His hands and His side. He got them when some evil people hung him on a cross. Someday I’ll see them.”
“I know,” Grandpa said sadly. “And the apostle Paul was whipped several times because He preached about Jesus’ love. His back had lots of scars.”
“Did he stop preaching?”
“Oh, no! He preached in even more places. Later he wrote, ‘I have scars on my body. These show I belong to Christ Jesus.’ He wasn’t ashamed. Those scars were proof that he was a true disciple.”
“I’m trying to be a disciple,” Sarah said thoughtfully.
“I know,” Grandpa responded. “Sometimes disciples get hurt by people who don’t like what they’re saying or preaching or singing or writing. Sometimes the scars come from hurtful words or mean actions. But true disciples know that those scars mean they are sharing God’s love.”
“I’m sorry you got shot, Grandpa,” Sarah said.
“That’s the price you sometimes pay for being a good cop,” the man stated.
Getting Ready to Go
Which would you rather have? (Please note that some choices will mean that some will make fun of you, try to embarrass you, or hurt you with their words and actions.)
A life filled with Satan’s evil deeds? OR
A life filled with God’s blessings?
A forever life with Jesus in heaven? OR
A short life on this earth?
A conscience loaded with guilt and shame? OR
A clear conscience and hopeful thoughts?
1 Unless otherwise noted, Bible texts are from the New King James Version.
2 Texts credited to NIV are from the New International Version.