Scars Tell a Story

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A few years ago, on a hot summer day in Florida, a young boy decided to go for a swim in the small pond behind his house. It was hot outside so the thought of a cool swim called to the lad. The boy ran and dove into the water – not realizing that he was sharing the water with an alligator.

The lad’s mother happened to look out the window and saw sight. In utter fear, she ran toward the pond, screaming to her son as loudly as she could.

Hearing her voice, the little boy quickly started swimming to his mother standing on their dock. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the mother grabbed her son by the arms as the alligator sunk its teeth into the boy’s legs. Then began an unbelievable tug-of-war between the two. The creature was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too determined to let go. A nearby neighbor heard her screams, raced over, rifle in hand, and shot the alligator.

After several weeks in the hospital, the boy survived the ordeal. He bore two sets of scars. Some on his legs that the alligator made … and the fingernail scars in his arms made by his mother. The marks on his legs represented the evil in this world. But the second set of scars were created out of love.

All scars tell a story. Throughout the years, epidemics, such as Covid-19, have threatened the lives of many. Most every person born before 1970 carries a scar that stopped another epidemic. The disease was smallpox. The scar was from a vaccine given on the shoulder.  That scar was a badge of honor that said, “I am protecting my family and neighbors from being infected by this terrible disease.”

I have often wondered why, after the resurrection, that Jesus kept the scars on his hands and side from his crucifixion (see John 20:24-29). Was it because those scars were a badge of honor which said: “This is what I did for you?”

If you are living in fear of Covid-19 or anything else, remember what Jesus did for you. Remember the scars.

Larry Fitzgerald
Woodlawn church of Christ
Abilene, TX

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