"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"This is your last issue."

      Today I received my last subscription issue of Writer's Digest. They're sorry to see me go, but they'll get over it. As will I.
      I can think of another "last issue," one that I won't get over so easily. That will be the issue raised when I stand before humankind's Judge on that terrible day. He will ask me whose righteousness earned me the right to spend eternity with Him. If my answer outlines all the good things I've done with my life, His countenance will darken and His eyes will pierce to the center of my soul, digging out every single action, thought and motive that brought shame and guilt into my life. Every eye will see the disgraceful actions I did in private, the horrible fantasies that I allowed my imagination to entertain, every "little, white" lie that passed over my tongue, and each pen, pencil or paper clip that wound up in my possession without having been bought. The cloak of good that I did throughout my life will become the most filthy, putrid covering imaginable, and I won't be able to strip it off. I will realize, with the billions of souls standing around me, that I had ignored the only One who could remove the wretched filth covering me. But despite the vastness of my company, I will stand completely isolated from any pity or compassion. I alone, with the billions of other isolated souls, will turn away from the Judge and march into the eternal fire-pit reserved for Satan and his minions.
      If, however, I answer the Judge's penetrating question with one Name, my last issue will not be an issue at all. If I say only, "Jesus," my Savior will slowly smile at me with the radiance of uncounted suns. His eyes will sparkle at me with the stars of millions of galaxies. And I will find myself clothed with the perfect, white cloak of His righteousness. He will reach out his scarred hands to me and say, "Come." And I will.

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