Monday, July 26, 2010


Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones.
Mar 5:5 ESV

We are told very little about the lives of so many of the people Jesus encountered in the Gospels. Only rarely are we even given their names. Their lives before and after meeting Christ are shrouded in mystery. Sometimes I wonder about their stories in the years that followed...

He hardly notices the smell of pig manure that saturates his clothing as he makes his way slowly back to the servant quarters in the last remaining moments of dusk. After a meager serving of broth and stale bread, he retires to a thin layer of straw scattered loosely across the dirt floor.

Lying still in the darkness, he listens to the hushed voices of the other servants, soft and rasping like the whispers of the dead. His fingers travel absently along the smooth, jagged trails that zig-zag across the skin of his forearms. Matching scars trace their way like children’s scribbles across his legs and abdomen, the soles of his feet. He remembers the dreams of endless, tormented screams; waking hoarse to find they were his own.

His memories of those black hopeless days have faded with the dust of the passing years, but the face of the one who saved him from that living death burns bright in his mind. Jesus. Rarely does an evening pass - nights had always been the worst - without a prayer of gratitude rising to that name. The wounds that had so long betrayed the darkness of his misery now tell a story of hope, of fear driven into exile by the love of God. Once more he closes his eyes in peace, thanking God for the scars that declare his freedom.

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