We had been forewarned. For the last year and a half, someone had been breaking into cars in our neighborhood. Even our next door neighbor had fallen prey to his traps.
The thief wasn’t stealing cars. It seemed that he was much more interested in any loose change, or even better, any cigarettes that might be in the cars.
Initially he just went inside unlocked cars, but as time went on, he became bolder. He began breaking into locked cars as well. Another neighbor, just down the street, fell victim to his plots twice. The first time he went into her unlocked car and emptied the change compartment of its 3 or 4 dollars. Realizing what he had done, the lady began to lock her car, and the next time he came by, he broke through the passenger window to steal a pack of cigarettes that were lying on her dash.
We figured we were pretty much immune to this particular thief. After all, we park our cars in our locked garage, we never leave them unlocked, we don’t smoke, and we never leave valuables in plain view. So when my son came home the other day with a very strange story, I was shocked.
It went like this: He had taken the car to the local hardware store and had left it locked, in broad-open daylight, in the midst of a busy parking lot. There was nothing in the car, except for 3 dollars in change in a little cubby. When he returned to the car, there was a serious dent in the top outside edge of the driver’s door.
Assuming that someone in a very tall car had hit the car hard with a car door, my poor 17 year-old had no idea what to do. Only one thing was clear to him: Mom and dad are going to be mad, so he went back into the hardware store, bought a little tube of touch-up paint, and proceeded to paint over the numerous scratches and scrapes.
He was looking pretty sheepish when he got home, but to his credit, he took me straight out to the car and admitted what had happened. One thing was quite clear to me: A mere car door had not done all of that damage. It looked far more like…A crowbar! Someone had taken a crowbar to the car to get…the 3$ in the cubby!
Several lessons come to mind as I think about this story. The first is this:
Some people go to great measures to get what they think they need to fulfill their desires. It makes you think, doesn’t it? People risk punishment and prison for just a few dollars to support their addictive habits, yet Jesus offers us complete joy and happiness, everything we need to fill the longing in each of our hearts, for free!
The second lesson to be learned is this: It was immediately evident to me that my son’s touch-up paint job had done little to hide the evidence. Now our crumpled metal was silver instead of the dull-gray of bare steel. Isn’t it so much like human nature to try to cover up our wrong? In this case, my son hadn’t done anything wrong, nonetheless, he tried to “cover it up”. In life, we are no different. We do wrong things every day. We are convicted of the wrongs we have done, and we try to counter these by doing good. It’s like we think there is two recording angels, one who records the bad and one who records the good, and in the end, the one with the longest list indicates if we go to Heaven or Hell. But friends, this the Bible teaches us something completely opposite: We cannot work our way into Heaven, because all of our good deeds are like, “filthy rags”! “But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.” (Isa 64:6 NKJV).
What is this text saying? Simply this: When we try to cover up the wrong things we’ve done with good deeds, it is like my son taking that touch-up paint to the crowbar scars on the car door. There is one paint, however, that makes it all better: The Blood of Jesus. Consider this text: “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7 NKJV)!
Now that is really good touch-up paint!
Let’s remember these lessons, friends. Jesus gives us everything we really desire — and all for free, and His Blood is the best touch-up paint possible, for it completely removes the scars of our wrong actions.
Please join us next Saturday for The Crowbarred Car Door, Part 2 for more lessons from my crowbarred car door!
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire “The Crowbarred Car Door” mini-series, please click here.)