Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

Probably he got caught in a steel trap like this one over here," their dad said, pointing to an exhibit in the next case.
"But how could he get free from that?" Julie asked.

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– posted 12.04.2009

#19- Healing Stripes

A Character story about meekness.

Julie had found herself in a real predicament. Karen, the new girl at school had copied off of her test paper and then lied, saying that she paid Julie for the answers. The money was found in Julie's purse. When we last left them, the twins were discussing the problem with their dad and mom.

"But how can I get Miss Meadows to believe me?" Julie asked insistently.

"Before we discuss that, we need to talk about your attitude toward Karen," Mr. Jensen said. "I would like to read you some verses in First Peter." Mr. Jensen grabbed a Bible and turned to chapter two. "Peter is very clear in instructing us how to react when we are treated unfairly. He says here, ' . . . but if, when ye do well and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.' He then goes on to explain that Jesus was our example on how to suffer properly. Because He did right, and suffered for it, and took it patiently, Christians are forgiven forever. It says, 'With His stripes ye are healed.' His suffering healed us of our sin."

"I know what you mean," Julie admitted. "It's just what Mom told me. I should forgive her the way Jesus forgave me and not try to get revenge."

Mr. Jensen nodded. "That's right. But you may be able to do even more. Jason, you remember the cocoon at school? What happened when one of the students helped the butterfly get out?"

"It couldn't fly. It just flapped around and after a while it died."

"Uh huh. You see, kids, God designed the butterfly to go through the suffering of pushing itself from the cocoon. By pushing through the little hole, the juices needed to make it fly are spread onto its wings. This suffering brings life to the butterfly. Now think of this, kids. Wouldn't it be wonderful if God used this problem to bring Karen to salvation?" They both nodded. "Well, God might do that IF you respond to Karen as the Lord Jesus did when He was wronged. In a sense your stripes could bring healing to Karen."

"But she did do wrong," Jason reminded. "It wouldn't be right to just drop the whole thing, would it?"

"No, you cannot pardon her from the punishment of her wrong. But you can forgive her in your heart. And you can do what it says in Romans chapter 12- overcome evil with good."

"But how do I do that?" Julie asked.

"I'm not just sure. But if you really want to please the Lord, I believe He will show you some ways."

"Julie sighed. "I really do want to do right. And I would like to see Karen become a Christian. But you still haven't told me how to get the teacher to believe me."

Mr. Jensen smiled. "I'll just say this: If you want to please the Lord and let Him love Karen through you, then he will take care of your reputation."

The whole family knelt at the couch and asked the Lord to use this problem to bring honour to Himself. Julie prayed that Karen could see God's love in her and that she would be saved. Everyone felt better after the prayer time and supper seemed to be tastier than ever. But the much feared phone call from the teacher did not come.

The next morning Julie walked slowly up the walk to the school. Her commitment the night before seemed foggy now and she was scared what she would say to Karen. Julie was just getting her books ready for the day when the teacher asked to see her privately. Nervously grabbing her purse, Julie followed Miss Meadows into the hall. Karen was there waiting for them.

"I'm sorry I didn't call you last evening," the teacher began. "When I finally got hold of Karen's parents, it was too late to call you. Now Karen has something to say to you. Go ahead."

"I .. . I'm sorry for lying about you yesterday," she said with downcast eyes, and then began to sob into her hands. Julie was so stunned that she said nothing.

Miss Meadows continued. "Karen's father said that the five dollars Karen put into your purse was given her to get some groceries on the way home. When she got home, she told her mother that she had lost it. I understand she's had quite a problem with lying in the past." Miss Meadows paused, scowling at Karen and then turned. "Julie, I wanted to talk with Karen's parents first because I did not really think you would cheat. You have always had such good character. It would be a sad day when a good Christian like you or your brother ever did such a thing."

Julie grinned. "Thank you, Miss Meadows. I told the Lord I always want to please Him."

Miss Meadows smiled back. "Karen, you shall have to receive a zero on the test and stay in from recess to study the material until you know it."

"I will," Karen responded sadly, now drying her eyes.

"Well, it's time to begin class."

"Miss Meadows, could I talk with Karen just a minute before we come in?" Julie asked.

"That would be fine."

Once alone, Karen spoke first. "I suppose you hate me for what I did to you."

"I . . . I was angry last night. But now I want you to know I forgive you. I know the school work is hard for you. How would it be if I came over after school tomorrow and helped you study for the next test? If I can explain it the way my dad told me, I know you will understand it."

Karen looked shocked. "You . . . you mean it? You would really help me after what I did?"

"Sure. And maybe Sunday you could go with me to Sunday School. We have a really neat teacher and I'm sure you would have a good time."

"OK. I'd like that."

The two girls shook hands. "Oh, and one other thing," Julie said, looking into her purse. "Here's your five dollars. You'd better get those groceries for your mom." Karen took the money with a smile and the girls headed back into the classroom. Julie glanced over at Jason whom she knew would be nervous about the meeting. When she caught his attention, she gave him the 'thumbs up' sign, and beamed.