Threshing The Wheat From The Chaff


| March/April 1970



Our Christmas was saddened by footsteps footsteps in the snow, leading from the tire tracks of a boy's bicycle across a corner of our yard, then back. They reminded me of other foot tracks foot tracks of Neil Armstrong walking for the first time on the Moon.

But the footsteps of Neil Armstrong, though 'One small step for man,' became 'One giant stride for Mankind' while the whole world watched breathlessly. But these footsteps in the snow across our front yard were bent on no more noble a deed than stealing some Christmas lights during the blessed Season of Christmas.

What a tragedy, I thought, as I observed the lowly mission of this boy's steps in the new driven snow. To him the celebration of Christ's birthday meant no more than to sally forth to steal a little joy from his fellow man, just at the season when the human heart should radiate love and kindness one to another. For here was a youth whose future lay ahead of him beckoning promises as great as he was willing to make them. Yet, in his tender, character-developing years he was applying his God-given talents toward the goal of becoming a common thief.

Christ was born into this sordid world to save the ungodly. An one of the most soul-stirring stories ever to come out of The New Testament was that of the common thief who'd spend his entire life as a malefactor amongst men, yet who, in his dying breath, asked mercy and received eternal life from the Savior who was crucified at his side.

The few, brief words this common thief spoke to the dying Christ that day, completely exonerated him of all his misspent life and earned for him the highest privilege accorded any man in history.

'This man hath done nothing wrong,' gasped the expiring malefactor in his last-remaining breath. 'Lord, remember me in your Kingdom.'