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Bruised One From
Satan's Abuse
Adapted From
B. Carradine
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TOPIC: Adoption

TITLE: Bruised One From Satans Abuse

There has always been something peculiarly affecting and heart appealing to us in the sight of that unfortunate class called the weak-minded. Here are beings who are made to suffer heavily and carry life burdens and endure lamentable deprivations from no fault of their own, but through the sin, neglect, or culpable carelessness of others. When they are born in this state, or pass into it in early childhood from some fall, blow, or sickness that could in almost every instance have been averted, the case becomes all the more pathetic.

Upon the face of these bruised ones usually comes a vacant expression, an absence of that fine facial handwriting of the soul, which the spirit impeded in some way cannot trace on brow or lip or in eye; and so a blankness instead is left that moves the heart to its depths over the contemplation of suffering innocence, and the remediless wrong of a lifetime.

Some of these afflicted ones wear a look of woe that goes like an arrow to the heart. Others bear a cowed, frightened expression which makes the tears gather swiftly as we gaze. The world looks so big and cruel unto them, and from that great world they have gotten nothing but an heritage of pain and trouble.

In one of our meetings we saw in the front pew one of the class we have been attempting to describe. The bruised one in this case was a lad of about eight years of age. The countenance bore that melancholy, unmistakable sign of an injured mind. The wistful, pathetic mien and appearance was there that is always observable in these cases, and that has never failed yet to bow down completely the heart of the writer.

In this instance the touching expression was in the eyes, although the face had pleading lines. It impressed us that the child had received many a rough word and cruel blow, and was expecting more.

Now and then, under an act of kindness, there would be something like a flash of light in the countenance, to disappear immediately the next instant, while the old half-fearing, half-expectant, wistful look that would puzzle language to describe, would settle once more on the poor, little, pinched, woe-begone face.

Each morning before entering the pulpit, we would sit a few minutes by his side on the front pew, where he had for some reason posted himself. Through repeated gifts of nickels and dimes we ingratiated ourself into his favor, and found him after that, nestling up to us when we took our seat by him.

With a heart that fairly ached over the boy, whose sad history we had learned as to his poverty, cabin home, rough household circle and their harshness to him, we could not keep from putting an arm about the little fellow and speaking tenderly and lovingly to him.

We understood afterward that the tableau we presented afforded considerable talk as well as amusement to some in the audience. It may have been so, but it was a matter of indifference to us, as we had no thought at the time for the people around us, who did not need our sympathy, but both mind and heart were on the stricken lad before us, who had received such a knock-down blow in his birth and life, and for no fault of his own.

One day we presented him with a handsome pearl-handled knife. His father, a low, coarse, selfish being, took it from him, appropriating it for his own use, and giving the boy a rusty, broken-bladed Barlow that came nearer being nothing in the knife line than anything we ever beheld.

The child had accepted the robbery without a murmur, being accustomed to wrongs and ill-treatment of every kind all the time. But we said to him, "You must tell your father to return you that knife; I gave it to you, not him." He nodded his head with a kind of dawning intelligence or apprehension that he had been unjustly dealt with. But the light soon faded, and he seemed content with the Barlow.

One morning after one of our small silver coin gifts to him, he nestled up to us, and, with a pleading look on his face, said, "Aint I your little boy?"

And with our eyes brimming over with tears and a voice we could command only with difficulty, we replied as we placed an arm around him: "Yes, you are my own little boy."

And his face lighted up, and a patient little smile came on his lips, while he gazed at us with unmistakable love and gratitude in his eyes.

One day he told us, I'm going up to the altar tonight to get saved. He came, looked around wonderingly for some time; and then hid his face in his hands as he saw others doing.

The sight of the little, unkempt head bowed down on the altar rail, the bruised one at the footstool of God, was exceedingly affecting. Each day after this he would say to us, I'm coming back to the altar tonight. I'm going to get saved again.

Poor little fellow! Somehow we felt that the Good Shepherd would not let this injured lamb fail to reach the heavenly fold; but would bring him up and through in spite of every adverse condition and circumstance, and would see to it that the next life for the child would be better and happier for him in every way.

In addition to all this the lad furnished a lot of parable teaching to us. We said as we studied his case, that we were, in our unspeakable inferiority to God, nothing but weak-minded. That we were unlovely and unattractive and ignorant and all but helpless. That the divine pity and love manifesting itself in countless gifts and mercies, awoke our stupid slumbering souls, and won our love.

That, finally, we were that melted and moved by the goodness of God to us in our poor estate, that we nestled up to Him and said in a tearful, trembling, pleading voice: "Aint I your little child?"

And blessed be His name forever! His arms went about us, His face beamed upon us, while His own voice whispered with all the tenderness of Heaven: "Yes, you are. You are my own beloved child." -- Living Illustrations By B. Carradine

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