“True love requires sacrifice.”
Once upon a time, on a Saturday I was trying to sleep in, a disturbance around the house not only ruined my sleep, but also denied me a second chance to get back at it. Apparently, the cat, who was always kept indoors away from the dogs, had stepped into ‘enemy’ territory, and received the coldest of welcomes.
Per the accounts of eye-witnesses, my mum and my sister, the cat, for whatever reason, had sneaked out through the back door which had been left ajar. Unfortunately for the feline, the canines had sensed an intruder’s presence. Not only was it outnumbered, it also lacked the tactical skills to take down its attackers like we had seen cats do against dogs in the movie, CATS & DOGS. Long story short, it escaped thanks to its sharp reflexes, albeit it settled even further away from ‘home’ in a neighbor’s compound.
That’s where I come in. My mission objective was clear: locate the feline, retrieve it to its home, and save the day. Armed with the accounts of eye-witnesses, I tracked the feline and pinned its specific location. Our neighbours operated an unofficial ‘open-gate’ policy so access was no trouble.
Visibly shaken by the earlier face-off, the cat was rooted to the spot. Gently, I picked it up in my hands wary of its sharp claws. It wasn’t long before the victim regained confidence and struggled to break free. Because I was losing my grip, I bent down low and placed the little fighter on the road surface to regain my hold. In the process, I sustained some bruises here and there. If I let go then, for sure my mission would be incomplete.
Like a typical Ghanaian, a passer-by, who was neither ready to help nor ready to mind his own business, made a sarcastic remark as he mistook the rescue mission for a hunting operation. I could not be bothered. Success was a few meters away. And it came to pass, that I carried the creature through the compound and into its ‘safe-house’ like a trophy for show not just because the hopeful dogs kept jumping for their ‘game’, but also it really was a sign of a successful mission.
The highlight of the story? I suffered bruises because of another’s iniquity.
For some, it is silly for a household to go chasing after its ran-away cat who mid-way through its rescue bruises its rescuer. But my story only had mere bruises for the rescuer. Allow me to tell you of an unmatched rescue mission that resulted in the death of the rescuer at the hands of the rescued. Yes, this is also non-fiction.
Similarly, the victims had strayed away from home, and got separated from their caretaker. Yes, there was an enemy who sought to ‘devour’ the victims before they could be reunited with their caretaker. It was clear that there wasn’t much the victims could do to save themselves. They were more likely to stray even further away from home if they relied on their efforts.
And so it came to pass that the caretaker left his home to do everything that was required to ensure the safe return of the said victims. He came to his own but they did not receive him for they recognized him not.
Nevertheless, he was not discouraged for his life was purpose-driven and not people’s opinion driven. And so it came to pass that he paid the price for the salvation of the victims. He was wounded for their transgressions; he was bruised for their iniquities. The chastisement of their peace was upon him, and by his stripes are they healed.
Like the cat, the victims had strayed away. They had left their master’s path, the one he gave to them, to explore their own. Yet the burden of that exploration was laid on another. Indeed, another was bruised for their iniquity.
What shall they say then? Should they continue to stray away because their master has proven that he will never leave them nor forsake them? That nothing could ever separate them from his love? Of course not.
Home is where they belong. Home is the place the master has prepared for them. And there is nowhere else that can satisfy them best except home. It wouldn’t make sense to resist efforts to be sent back home especially when all expenses involved have been catered for already.
It’s one thing to be bruised for one’s own iniquity, but to be bruised for another’s iniquity is something not many people sign up for even today. So if another is [fatally] bruised for my iniquity, and I want to take their sacrifice for granted, how dare me!
Before you think of straying away, again, be ye reminded that Christ was bruised for your iniquity.