Sermon Illustrations

Some years back, before skin-grafts were a common medical procedure, a certain girl throughout all her life openly showed her shame for the deep scars that covered both of her mother’s hands. The girl was so ashamed of her mother’s hands that she constantly insisted that her mother wear gloves whenever they were out in public so that she would not be embarrassed. This attitude on the daughter’s part continued into her adult years bringing daily heartbreak to her mother.

After a short illness in that day when medical science had no cure for pneumonia, the mother died. While the body laid in state in the funeral parlor, the girl’s aunt called her aside and told her the reason why her mother’s hand were so terribly scarred. It happened when the girl was a mere babe and, while playing one evening near the fireplace, lost her balance and fell into the burning flame. Her mother immediately plunged her hands into the fire and grabbed her baby and not waiting to locate a cloth or blanket, put out the fire with her hands. Miraculously the baby was spared severe burns but the mother’s hands were grievously burned. After weeks in bandages, her hands were finally unwrapped, exposing the deep and hideous scars that told the story of a mother’s love for her child.

As her aunt finished the story, the girl broke out in uncontrollable weeping, and ran toward the coffin which held her mother’s body. She swiftly removed the white gloves that covered her mother’s hands and began kissing them again and again. The guilt that she felt for the years she had ridiculed the scarred and unsightly appearance of her mother’s hands now collapsed upon the girl with a vengeance. While kissing her mother’s hands, the girl kept repeating, “These scars were for me.”

One day we shall stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and behold our Savior. We will grasp the nail-scarred hands of our Lord Jesus and cry out “These scars were for me!”