Monday, April 18, 2011

The Scratch

I've been on sort of a mission lately. I've been somewhat convicted to try and help someone in need. I guess this comes from some failures I've had in the past when someone needed help on the side of the road and I drove on past without stopping or even slowing down. I rationalized away in my head why I shouldn't stop, but the guilt still remained. I was haunted by Matthew 25:31-46. That's the story that Jesus tells about the sheep and the goats. I won't go into that now, but you should read it. No, really. Go read it. Anyway, back to my mission. I've felt the need to quit finding reasons not to help someone in need. I have to get over the fact that I might be a little late or have to go slightly out of my way. Or heaven forbid, I might get dirty or something. So that brings me to this morning. I was on my way work listening to the radio, planning out my day in my head and fretting over what was shaping up to be a very busy day. As I exited off the interstate I saw a girl on the side of the road trying to change a flat tire. She was just past the exit ramp where I got off and I zoomed past her on my way to work. I got to the bottom of the ramp thinking, well I'm pretty much too far gone now to help her, but someone really should. Poor girl. Then I thought, that's it, here's my opportunity. So I pulled over at the light, got on the paved shoulder and backed all the way up the off ramp hoping I wasn't going to get ass-ended by an 18 wheeler heading for the truck stop with the showers and the over zealous Subway workers. But thankfully I made it all the way up only to stop and see the poor girl trying to jack her car up in flip flops and sweat pants while her little girl watched on from the back seat. I got out and ran across the ramp and asked her if she needed any help. She told me she absolutely did. I began to jack her car up to get the blown out tire off. It was a good thing I got there when I did. There was NO WAY she could have gotten the lug nuts off that tire. I had to physically jump up and down on the tire iron to get the nuts off. Within a few minutes I had the old blown out tire off and the donut in its place. The whole time the girl kind of paced around nervously telling me that her daughter was going to be so late for school and she was so glad that I stopped to help her. I kept getting this feeling from her that she was grateful for the help and yet embarrassed that she was in that position. The car was pretty run down and full of stuff. The trunk was full of clothes and odds and ends. She kept telling me that her car was a mess because she had a lot of stuff to take to Goodwill. I just kept smiling and telling her that I was glad I could help. With the donut on and the shredded tire in the trunk I left the grateful girl and her daughter to head on to school feeling pretty good about the deed I had done. As I rode to work I looked down and realized that my knuckle was bleeding. As I used the jack to raise the car up I scratched it on the concrete below. All morning long I would look down at my little scratch and smile knowing that I got my "war wound" because of the good deed that I had done. And then it dawned on me. What does Jesus feel like every time he looks down at his pierced hands that were nailed to the cross? Does he run his fingers over the jagged scars and smile sweetly to himself at the ultimate deed that he did for you and me? Does he feel that warmth inside knowing that he laid his life down for us so that we can spend eternity with him? The answer is yes. Why else would he have been willing to make such a sacrifice? He was on a mission to help someone. As I pace back and forth in my life, nervously telling Him that I'm a little bit messy but trying to get things cleaned up, he smiles and says he doesn't mind stopping to help. He was on a mission to save me. He was on a mission to save you. And he didn't mind getting a little scratched up in the process. It makes what little I do all the more worth it.

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