Moment in the Word

Isaiah 30:13  "This sin will become for you like a high wall, cracked and bulging, that collapses suddenly, in an instant."

Currently watching a pending calamity about to occur in my local community, I am reminded of an identical situation in the town where I grew up.

Tragically, three front-street businesses were gutted by fire. However, due to a squabble over individual responsibility for removal of the front facade, the tall curtain wall remained as a stark reminder of inevitable tragedy due to human neglect. Everyone knew the truth! The skeleton of the burned-out buildings screamed at anyone foolish enough to walk in the shadow of what would doubtless happen. The damaged structures were barely held together with loose sand after the mortar was destroyed by intense heat. The tottering facade towered overhead; one brick thick from bottom to top. Despite the obvious, the local residents learned to ignore the deadly threat, denying that their lives would ever be impacted when the ruins fell.

But, inevitably, the time for accountability finally came when fate struck on a blustery spring day. Moments before, my grandparents had parked nearby and saw the top of the wall swaying in the wind. While they moved their car to another space farther away, three unsuspecting victims walked down the sidewalk in the shadow of death.

Unaware of the accident that had just transpired, I was sitting in a junior high math class when screams suddenly erupted in the hallway. One of my fellow classmates was called out of an adjacent room to learn that her mother and baby sister were crushed by someone else's thoughtless carelessness!

I write this now, knowing that my present hometown is on the jagged edge of replaying this same avoidable mistake. After the initial shock of the screams subside, the culpable will frantically scramble to find someone else to blame although the responsibility was always theirs.

Sin is very similar.  Without genuinely addressing the moral infraction, the outcome only becomes worse. No amount of stopgap measures, props, or supports can withstand the weight of a wall ready to fall. No amount of bandaids can mend a broken heart after neglecting a personal dilemma that should have been permanently resolved long before.

The moral of the story: Fix the crumbling wall early while you still have time!

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Howell County News

110 W. Main St.,
Willow Springs, MO 65793

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