Thursday, June 24, 2010


"Recognizing a Crooked Stick"

"To their shame they are a perverse and crooked generation..." (Deuteronomy 32:5)

"And the crooked shall be made straight and the rugged ways made smooth." (Luke3:5b)

Someone has said that "the best way to show up a crooked stick is to lay a straight one beside it." That reminds me of an early summer morning thirty-something years ago.

As was my custom, I woke early and made my way through the old country house in which we lived in Woodruff. Quietly, so as not to awaken little boys and their daddy, I walked through the den toward the kitchen. In the early light of morning, I glanced at what I thought to be a stick on the carpet. Coming back the same way, I looked closer at the 'stick' to see that it was crooked...symmetrically. Realization woke me quickly and my instincts took over.

Grabbing the first thing I could get my hands on, without taking my eyes off the now moving ''stick'. I proceeded to immobilize it by digging the broken end of a yard stick into its middle. Vaguely, I remembered fussing at the boys the night before for breaking my yard stick and for leaving stuff scattered everywhere.

Now, what do I do? The wiggly 'stick' wanted to crawl up the yard stick. The carpet wasn't firm enough for the jagged end to pierce the thing. I certainly wasn't about to turn it loose long enough for it to crawl under the sofa and get away from me. Finally, after exerting all my strength, I pressed the life out of it.

Our oldest grandson posed recently in his back yard, holding up what appeared at first glance to be a five foot stick. It wasn't a stick. On their arrival home from church, their dogs alerted them to the problem in their garage. Their crooked 'stick' met its demise at the hands of Luke, their nine-year-old.

How can you recognize a crooked stick? You lay a straight one beside it. We live in a crooked and perverse generation. If you don't believe it, watch the nightly news. Can you recognize the difference between false doctrine and the Truth? Jesus is the yardstick...or the hoe handle. He's our example and serpent slayer, no matter that the 'stick' still slithers its crooked body all around.

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