“And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’” — Zechariah 13:6
To be wounded or killed on the battlefield is a heartbreaking and tragic thing. Many a young man has spent his life in a valiant cause. But what about a mortal blow in a friend’s house—someone you love?
You may not know Mr. Schur, but the World War II veteran is dead today at the age of 93. And normally that would be the end of the story.
Mr. Schur froze to death in his Michigan home last week. We are not talking about getting a little cold and contracting pneumonia. No, he literally froze-to-death.
Bay City Electric Light & Power installed a limiter on his power meter days before he was found dead. They installed it because he owed $1000 in unpaid power bills. After 50 or so years of paying on time, no one at the power company thought to call and check on him when his payment was late. Also, when they installed the limiter, no one took the time to talk to Mr. Schur about why they were installing it or how to reset it if it tripped.
Instead, they left him a note on the door; on the door of a 93 year old World War II veteran; on the door outside in the -9 degree to 12 degree weather! They put it on the door where he would not see it because he would be staying indoors to stay out of the weather.
It was not a case of Mr. Schur not having the money to pay the bill. Quite the opposite, he told his nephew that he had $600,000 in savings and when police entered his house (called to the scene by neighbors) they found his bills stacked on the table with the money clipped to them. It was either a case of being unable to go pay the bills or that he simply began to slip and forgot about them.
Mr. Schur died—in his own country—among his neighbors—in his own home. How heartbreaking to survive WWII and die in your own home!
Jesus came to his own and was rejected. He was wounded by those He came to save. He is wounded in the house of His friends…today.
How do we wound Him? We wound Him:
· with our complacency. His cross makes our complacency heartbreaking.
· with out carelessness. His meticulous obedience shames our careless living.
· with our coldness. The passionate sacrifice of His love challenges the coldness of our hearts.
· with our comfort. Living selfishly conceals His selfless life.
· with our critical spirit. Our factious hearts choke His forgiving love.
When I am complacent, careless, cold, comfortable and critical I cut off the power to my Christian witness and freeze those who need Christ and His love the most.