Oh No! I’m Missing a Chunk of My Nose!

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Say?… did you catch that story about the robbery in Tuscumbia, Alabama yesterday? You know, the one where the guy made off with a hundred dollars after a free-for-all with two brave and livid homeowners? Finally, when one of the homeowners left the room to grab a firearm, the robber was able to make his escape. The only catch was, the guy he overpowered bit off a piece of his nose. There it was… right there in the floor when investigators arrived at the crime scene. Ever heard that line, “If I leave, I’ll leave a piece of me behind.” How about, “Maybe I should have kept my nose out of their business.”

At any rate, police are now combing the area for the man who is missing the tip of his nose. Pretty sure they are looking at clinic and hospital records in the area and they may also be looking for after-Halloween clearance tables around Tuscumbia, particularly if there are some of those Groucho glasses still available… you know the ones with the big nose attached. (An oversized nose has got to be better than an incomplete model.) I can see him with a Kleenex over his nose and I can hear him in nasal tones asking the Walgreen’s clerk where the clearance table is located. She will probably try to show him the cold and sinus remedies aisle, too.

It occurs to me that this guy got himself into a situation that was a lot worse in consequence than it was in his imagination as he planned the crime. He walked away from the episode in a lot worse shape than he expected. In fact, he will find the take from the robbery a drop in the bucket when he starts to pay medical bills for reconstructive surgery. It will probably seem insignificant in comparison to the jail time, too, when the nose finally finds its rightful owner, complete with the DNA match carefully done by the criminal forensics team.

…And that’s how sin is. We plunge headlong into the business of sin, considering the instant pleasures and immediate rewards. We forget that the consequences are always bigger and longer lasting than we expected. The sinner’s imagination (with the help of the devil) creates an expectation that is always unrealistic. Reality sets in when an important part of the sinner has been sacrificed in the sinning process; something eternally important, left behind on the floor in exchange for something that’s quickly spent. The tip of a nose is nothing when compared to the eternal commodities people today are willing to trade for the very temporal rewards of sin.

I doubt if the prodigal son, as he left the father’s house (Luke 15), could have ever in a million years imagined the the “substance” of his life lying on the floor in the foreign country as he sat beside a pigpen wishing he could eat the slop. Thankfully, there is a road home. You may not ever be able to fully repair whatever it is you left behind at the scene of the crime, but there is a place of restoration. Imagine that while there is still time.

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