DayBreaks for 01/14/13 – Hearts of Stone or Flesh?
From the DayBreaks Archive, dated 1/14/2003:
“In 1944 Life magazine published a photo essay of a fox hunt in Holmes County, Ohio. The foxes lived in the woods and ate mostly mice and crickets, but sometimes also chicken and quail. This, the story explained, ‘made the brave men of Holmes County angry because they wanted to kill the quail themselves.’ So one Saturday about 600 men and women and their children got together and formed a big circle five miles across. They all carried sticks and started walking through the woods and fields, yelling and baying to frighten the foxes, young and old, out of their holes. Inside this diminishing circle the foxes ran to and fro, tired and frightened. Sometimes a fox would, in its anger, dare to snarl back, and it would be killed on the spot for its temerity. Sometimes one would stop in its anguish and try to lick the hand of its tormentor. It, too, would be killed.
“Sometimes, the photo showed, other foxes would stop and stay with their own wounded and dying. Finally, as the circle came closer together, down to a few yards across, the remaining foxes went to the center and lay down inside, not knowing what else to do. But the men and women knew what to do. They hit these dying wounded with their clubs until they were dead, or they showed their children how to do it.
“This is a true story. Life reported and photographed it. It happened for years in Holmes County every weekend.
“Today we cringe at such cruelty, yet we have a fox hunt of our own…”. – Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child
I’m appalled at this story. I can’t imagine such cruelty. But Manning is right – we have our own fox hunts – plenty of them, and they are near and dear to our hearts. Is it not a fox hunt when we fail to have compassion on those with diseases of the body brought about because of sinful lifestyle choices, whether it is alcohol, drugs, STD’s, or other illnesses? Aren’t we more apt to carry a club than a first aid kit when it comes to some of the members of our society? Tragically, it’s even true in the church itself – instead of band-aids and ointments, we carry sticks. The saddest thing of all: we know how to use them.
Manning continued, after speaking about how most Christians react to those afflicted by AIDS: “…just ask those who are afflicted with AIDS. Sadly, too many with AIDS have wondered if they had any alternative but to go to the center of the circle and lie down and die.
“Where are we in that circle? Where are you? Where would Christ be?” I think I know the answer to the last question: he’d be in the middle with them, tending to their hurts, loving them all the time.
2 Cor. 3:3 – “You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” May our hearts be soft and receptive to the Spirit of the living God.
Copyright 2003 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>
PRAYER: For all we have wounded and hurt when we should have had compassion, forgive us! Melt our hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh, warm and loving! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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