DayBreaks for 9/05/14: The Old Man and the Scorpion
From the DayBreaks archive, dated 9/03/2004:
Henri Nouwen told a story about an old man who sat on the edge of the Ganges River in India, meditating every morning. On one particular morning, after he was done with his meditation, the old man opened his eyes and saw a scorpion struggling for its life in the water nearby. As the waves washed the scorpion closer to the shore, the old man reached out a withered old hand to save the scorpion. As he touched the scorpion, the scorpion stung him painfully on the hand. Pulling his hand back, the man watched the scorpion continue to struggle. After about a minute, the old man felt compassion again on the struggling creature, and once again, he reached forward with his hand to save the animal. This time, the scorpion stung him so badly that his bloody hand swelled grotesquely and the old man’s face was contorted in pain.
A passerby watched this with fascination, and shouted, “Old man, what’s wrong with you? Only a fool would risk his life for the sake of an ugly, evil creature. Don’t you know you could kill yourself trying to save that ungrateful scorpion?”
The old man turned his head and looking into the stranger’s eyes, said “My friend, just because it is the scorpion’s nature to sting, that does not change my nature to save.”
What a tremendous parable to explain God’s action towards us. How many times have we “stung” Him as He’s reached out to us!!!! And yet, wasn’t Jesus’ response much like that of the old man: “Father, forgive them, they do not know what they’re doing.” Praise God that it was His nature to save, regardless of our nature to hurt Him!
Copyright by 2004 Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>
PRAYER: Thank you, Jesus, for Your nature to save! In Jesus’ name, Amen