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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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Setting the Captive Free

A little brother and sister went to spend the summer with their grandparents.  One day the grandfther made the little boy a slingshot, “Now be careful with this, and never shoot rocks at animals or people.”  “OK, Gramps,” he solemnly promised.  He spend the next few days firing rocks at trees, cans, and other make believe antagonists.  Then one morning he spied, far across the pond, his grandmother’s pet duck.  Not really aiming, he let fly a rock.  It arched through the air and hit the duck squarely on the head, killing him.

The little boy, fearing his grandparent’s wrath, desperately searched for a place to hide the dead duck.  Finding the perfect place, he hid the duck under the pile of firewood near the barn.  As he stood up congratulating himself on his cover-up scheme, he spied his sister watching him from the front porch, “Lunch is ready, brotherrrrrrr.”  She drew out “brother” ever so sweetly.  “Oh no,” he realized, “she saw everything.”  His spirit fell.

All through lunch he was silent. His food sat in his stomach like lead.  He waited for his sister to expose his misdeed.  She smiled and sat silently eating her sandwich.  Then grandmother spoke, “Sally, will you help me wash the dishes?”  “I’d be happy to Grandma,” she replied, “but Johnny told me he really wanted to help in the kitchen today.  Didn’t you, Johnny?”  Johnny was considering whether to protest or not when she leaned over and whispered to him as she left the room, “Remember the duck!”  Johnny sat there in grim silence realizing that bad days were ahead.

The rest of the week was a nightmare for Johnny.  He had to skip a fishing trip so he could help make supper, and then he graciously let his sister lick the fudge pan.  After man days of doing his sister’s chores, he could take it no longer.  “Grandma,” he tearfully confessed, “I didn’t mean to, but I killed your duck.”  “I know, Johnny,”  she gave him a hug, “I was standing at the window.  I saw the whole thing.  Because I love you, I forgave you.  But I had to wait until you were ready to come to me and ask forgiveness.  I wondered how long you would let your sister keep you a slave!”

“A man is a slave to whatever masters him.”  “You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of sin.”  2 Peter 2: 19; 1 Cor. 7: 23.

Tim Woodward, Evangelist
Smithville church of Christ