The Power of Outstretched Arms (by Duane Scott)

Did I ever mention that I’ve always wished I had a little brother? No? Okay, that’s probably because I didn’t realize it until I met a sweet, young (20 years old), budding writer from the Midwest. I think we became friends the very first time we talked and since then, he’s become a brother of my heart. Don’t mistake his youth for foolishness! This sweet kid has more wisdom and talent than some folks I know that are far older and more experienced at life and writing than he. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for him! And because I know he’s cringing at that “tender, awkward” bit of introduction, I’ll say no more. I’d like to introduce you to the writing of my little brother-friend, Duane Scott:

Yesterday, as I was driving through our local town, I noticed a crowd of people slowly walking down the church steps. Their heads down, they followed their loved one as he was carried to the hearse. Slowly pulling my car ahead, I glanced to my right and saw my face in the reflection of the limousine. With crushing realization, I thought:

One day, I too will ride in that car. It is inevitable. From birth, life is one slow procession to the end.

I’m not trying to sound morbid. One thing I realize about humans is we try not to think of death, as if we can convince ourselves it will not happen. We go to gyms, we eat healthy; and in doing, we try to cheat death, but only manage at best, to prolong its coming.

I had a friend call me once saying, “Duane, I’m terrified. I’m outside the funeral home. I was sitting close to the front, and when I looked in the casket to see Grandpa, I didn’t see him.  Yes, his body is there, but that’s not Grandpa. I began panicking just thinking about the end. Where did Grandpa go?”

Three days later, that friend will never mention the incident. I’ve tried to bring it up numerous times, in hopes that I can settle a little more of their questions, but to no avail. So, we try to not think about death. The end. It’s a scary thought, right?

Unless you have the power of the outstretched arms.

I remember a time not too many years ago, that I had decided to take my own way. Determined to live life to the fullest, I decided I didn’t need God to direct my pathway. Instead, I plunged forward, following youthful desires and not realizing the gravity of my decisions.

I remember some of my friendships were beginning to sour. I remember thinking I wasn’t sure about my future. I remember one afternoon when we laid my own Grandpa to rest, and I thought, “If I were to die, where would I go?” And so I cried. In full humility, I walked back to the place where I had left God. A prodigal son, I wasn’t sure what I was going to say to the Father. But as I got on my knees to pray for forgiveness, I stopped. Doubts crept in, causing thoughts that the Father no longer wanted me, had no use for the person I had become. As I got up from my knees, I saw it. Two outstretched arms and the Father saying,

“Son… Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

I imagine the time that Jesus said these words. I imagine he was preaching to many people, and off to the side, I see a middle-aged man and in his eyes… pain. He has lived a hard life, made many poor decisions. He no longer is with his wife, his business doings have been less than honest, and his family wants nothing to do with him. But I see Jesus saying, “Come unto me…”, and as His eyes met this man, His outstretched arms widen, inviting the man, “I will give you rest…”

In fact, His outstretched arms were nailed open for you and I on that cross. The power of the outstretched arms.

And when I come to the end of my journey, life here is spent, I know, that Jesus will be there, on the other side of chilly Jordan, inviting me with outstretched arms, “Come unto me, Son… Come home.”

Oh, the beautiful power of the outstretched arms.

Duane Scott

About Sarah Salter


  1. beautiful post, Duane. I have a middle-aged man as a friend who is living the scenario you describe, and slowly he is returning to the place where he can find true Rest. It’s a beautiful idea. Happy Monday!

  2. I too was a Prodigal…I know the power of those outstretched arms…
    Thanks for sharing!


  3. Awesome post. Duane you really nailed this. The power of hope and joy is only found in those outstretched arms.

    I owe my life to Him.

  4. Wonderful post and great thoughts. I’m so thankful for those loving, outstretched arms. It makes me want to live my life with outstretched arms as well. Thanks.

  5. This feels like a southern hymn. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing it here. And Duane, keep writing…you have a gift! 🙂

  7. A huge thank you to Sarah for the opportunity to blog on her blog and for all your great encouragements. It was an honor first of all to write for God, and second to write for you. I truly appreciate you all reading my post.

  8. Will you be my little brother too? Or perhaps my son?

    I am moved to pieces again by your words, and know beyond knowing that those arms are waiting for you!

Speak Your Mind