Tommy lived with his grandmother. They loved each other very much. But Tommy had the habit of stealing. Tommy's grandmother punished him again and again for stealing, but he did not stop habit.
One day, Tommy's grandmother said, "Tommy, I have been punishing you about this stealing, but it hasn't seem to do any good. I love you too much to let you continue this. The next time you come home with things that do not belong to you, I'm going to take one of these knitting needles and heat it red hot in the fire. Then I'm going to burn your hands so badly that you'll never forget it."
Tommy didn't steal for a long time. He knew that his grandmother meant what she said.
But then one day, Tommy began stealing again. He came home with his pockets stuffed with things that he had stolen.
Tommy's grandmother tried not to notice at first. But when she could stand it no longer, she said, "Tommy, come here. Empty your pockets!"
Out came a pocket knife, a pencil, an eraser, a small ball, and some money none of which belonged to Tommy.
"Where did you get those things?" demanded the grandmother.
"Tell me Tommy, where did you get those things?" asked the grandmother again.
Still no answer.
"You have been stealing again." said the grandmother. "You know what I told you, and you know that I always keep my word."
The grandmother went over and put the metal knitting needle into the fire. When it was red hot, she called Tommy to her and said, "Son, give me your hand."
Tommy was trembling as he held out his hand but he knew he was wrong and that he deserve to be punished.
The grandmother paused and said, "Son, I want you to see the seriousness of your stealing. You deserve this punishment, but I LOVE YOU AND I'M GOING TO TAKE YOUR PUNISHMENT FOR YOU."
With that, she dropped Tommy's hand and opened her own hand. Taking the red hot knitting needle, she burned her own hand very badly.
Holding out her burned hand, she said, "Look at my hand Tommy. Don't take your eyes from it. This is what your stealing cost me."
For years to come, Tommy repeated the story and ended with these words, "That ended my stealing. I saw what it cost one who loved me dearly and whom I loved."
LOVE is not selfish.. It involves sacrifices - just as the heavenly Father had demonstrated in expressing His LOVE to us at the sacrifice of His Beloved Son. Let us remember not to take our God for granted.
***** [Jun 15, 2004] by Linda
The grandma was a wise and loving woman. She taught her grandson a lesson he never forgot. Thanks for Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf. We should never forget it.